Our family’s story in America began when our great-grandfather Saturnino Carfagna emigrated to the United States in 1919 and was given the name “Sam” by officials at Ellis Island.
From there, he worked as a laborer in three two-year stints, returning a few times to his home in the Abruzzo-Molise region of Italy. In 1925, Sam made enough money to allow his wife, Nonna Maria, his three children, and his mother-in-law to move to the United States, settling on a farm in New Albany, Ohio.
Sam established the first Carfagna’s store in the Linden neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio, on Cleveland Avenue in 1937. Not long after, the store gained a reputation for its quality meats, Italian deli, groceries, and outstanding service. Saturnino often said, “Give our customers what they want, not what you want.” His business success was due to his innate business sense, kindness, keen sensitivity to customer needs and wants, and his strict demand for selling quality products.
Today, Saturnino’s grandsons Dino and Sam are charged with growing and overseeing all aspects of the Carfagna’s business, with the entire family’s help down to the grandchildren. Following Sam’s footsteps, the grandsons started Carfagna’s catering business and in-store prepared foods. It was here where they resurrected many of the family recipes with which they had grown and loved so much.
It was the advice of their grandfather that led Dino and Sam to Carfagna’s Handmade Kitchen’s birth. Taking the next step to fulfill the customers’ wants, Dino and Sam took advantage of being able to hand-make their entrees at their manufacturing facility with the help of their cousin and plant manager, Executive Chef Jim Cua. Together, the three developed methods of serving upscale handmade specialties at affordable prices in just minutes. Along with Dino’s wife, Terri, and Sam’s wife, Jeannene, and their children, a new generation of Carfagnas is ready to take the next step in living those words of wisdom from Great Grandpa Sam. In doing so, the Carfagna family will keep the traditions, values, and service for which they have become famous alive for years to come.
“Use Only the Very Best and Finest Ingredients and Never, Never Rush.”
- Our Grandmother, Nonna Maria
Immerse yourself in the traditions of Italy by joining the Carfagna family at one of our many events. We regularly offer classes and demos where you can learn Italian, master new recipes, or brush up on your skills.