our Food, our STORy.
author: Bill Vesper
My name is Bill Vesper. I’m up there on the right, and that’s my identical twin brother John next to me. We’re founders of Vesper Bros. Foods. We grew up in our dad's Italian deli, just outside of Philadelphia, in Wayne, PA. The deli, called John's Village Market, has been in business for 40 years now. Being around it, and then finally entering into the family business with our parents, we developed a real passion for the foods that we grew up eating and learned to cook.
Although our family has been in the food business for over 40 years, that passion for food has been in our blood for as long as we can remember. It goes all the way back to the old country, in Southern Italy, where food is more important than just about anything except for family. It traveled across an ocean, through tough times, and good, in cities and suburbs, passed down through the generations. Just like the recipes. Preserved, cherished, aged, and deepened.
We were inspired to be able to share some of these culinary treasures that have been passed down to us, with folks not only in our parents’ store, but all across the world! Packaging the foods that we grew up eating and learned to cook and sharing that passion with as many people as we could. To pass it on, like our great-grandparents before us. To help rekindle that feeling, that comforting feeling, that we know only comes from real, home cooking. In the kitchen, laughing, loving and eating, full of life and a good meal.
We decided that the first product we would work on would be an absolute staple of any pantry. It always was in our home. We'd jar our family's home-made Pasta Sauce, or “gravy”, as our South Philly Grandmom calls it (more on her in a minute)! So we started the process. We soon realized it wouldn't be as easy as we thought! It's not a simple task to take a home-made sauce and keep it radically true to its ingredients and integrity IN A JAR! But we were determined. Finally after two whole years of trying, we had a finished product.
Our Signature Marinara.
We always tell people that it's the exact same ingredients in the jar that we use, or that you would use at home, and that's exactly what it is! If I made a pot of gravy right in front of you, and then opened a jar of one of our Signature Sauces, and placed them side by side, you'd never be able to tell the difference! We don't add any preservatives or citric acid, no sugar or sweeteners either, only high quality ingredients. The best. What we'd feed our families, and what you can feel good about feeding yours!
You may think we're being biased, and we are, but the best compliment we got early on was that our grandmother Rose Vesper, the daughter of an Italian immigrant, who is the best cook we know, called and said, "Billy and Johnny, can you drop off a case of your gravy to me? It tastes so good I don't have to make it for me and Pop anymore!" We knew we nailed it!
The rest is history.
We've since gone on to expand our line of sauces, and other fine Italian foods, all with the same quality and care. Whatever it is that you try from us, we're sure you'll love it! After all, if Grandmom approves, you know it's gonna be good!
The picture below (the same as on our label) is of our family, circa 1958. This is a traditional gathering of the Vesper & Gizzio "famiglia". Our great-grandparents, Dominic and Helen (front right), and our great-grandfather Frank Vesper, emigrated from Italy in the early 1900's. Helen, a young Napoletana, from Campania, and Frank Vesper a young boy from L'Aquila, in Abbruzzo, came to America to make a better life for themselves, and their future families. They settled in South Philadelphia, in the heart of Ninth Street's Italian Market (the oldest outdoor food market in the United States, and even today a destination for those searching for true Italian-American cuisine).
As I said, all those pictured, including our grand-parents, great aunts and uncles, and even our own Dad (He's the baby in the high-chair!), truly laid the foundation for our love of family, and passion for food. We're proud to carry on with our family's traditional recipes.
So, we sincerely hope, that whatever you're preparing, from your favorite pasta dish to a simple sandwich, our products will help you rekindle that same familiar, comforting feeling, we know comes from great food. Then truly, that OUR food, becomes YOUR food!
From the bottom of our hearts, God bless you and yours,
- Bill Vesper