J. Quattrocchi & Co.
APPROACHING 100 YEARS OF SERVICE FOR SMITHS FALLS FOOD SERVICE INDUSTRY LEADER
They don’t often toot their own horn, but after nearly 100 years in the food service industry, this family-owned and operated business doesn’t need to. J. Quattrocchi & Co. Ltd. is not only a food service industry leader distributing products to major retailers across Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes, it is also a longstanding Smiths Falls community icon with roots found throughout the Ottawa Valley.
Despite their reticence for public attention, the story of how this small, family-owned company grew to become an industry leader is a fascinating tale of family commitment, perseverance and keen business sense in a rapidly evolving industry. Founded in 1922 by patriarch, Joe Quattrocchi, the family’s foray into the grocery business came with the opening of a grocery store in downtown Perth.
The business prospered in Perth, and in 1950 a warehouse was built in Smiths Falls to take advantage of the two rail lines running through town, and the opportunity to expand the reach for this burgeoning company. In the 1970s, when volatility within the railroad made continuing with rail transportation less desirable, Quattrocchi stayed put in Smiths Falls, close to major trucking transportation routes and large urban centres.
Using a family-owned business model, Quattrocchi may be among the last of its kind, remaining viable in an industry where industry giants often swoop in and oust smaller competitors. One of the few remaining independent food service industry distributors in Canada, Quattrocchi’s focus is on promoting and distributing Canadian products to Canadian grocers.
“We’re a very good Canadian company,” office manager, Fran Quattrocchi explained, “We supply independent grocers, restaurants, schools, daycares, hospitals and service clubs…we try to get local as much as we can.”
Over the past 100 years, and in spite of the financial ups and downs of the marketplace, one world war and a major fire in 2002 that destroyed a portion of the Smiths Falls’ warehouse, nothing has dampened the commitment of the Quattrocchi family. In fact, throughout their years in business Quattrocchi has managed to not only keep pace with marketplace trends, but to excel above their competition and expand their business.
Quattrocchi’s competitive edge in the food service industry stems from its commitment to providing quality products, excellent customer service and a competitive price structure. As a food distributor whose products must travel thousands of kilometres every day, Quattrocchi is a business that never sleeps, and a drive by the Smiths Falls warehouse at any time of the day or night will reveal a warehouse bustling with activity.
“We never stop, we go 24-7, 365 days a year,” Fran stressed. “Products come in at night, during the day…it never stops.”
Today, the distributor runs every day of the week shipping grocery products, fresh fruits and vegetables, and a complete line of food service products throughout Eastern Ontario. Quattrocchi also distributes to the major Canadian retailer, Giant Tiger, and supplies all Giant Tiger outlets in Quebec and the Maritimes, and most of the Eastern Ontario locations with produce.
“We supply independent grocers, restaurants, schools, daycares, hospitals and service clubs…we try to get local as much as we can.”
– Fran Quattrocchi
A branded wholesaler, Quattrocchi maintains its competitive edge by supplying the food service industry with wholesale access to brand names like Kraft, McCain, and Heinz, to name a few. This puts them a step above their competition, and ensures their products conform to both their – and their customer’s – high standards.
As a company that looks at far more than the bottom line, Quattrocchi makes it a priority to give back to the local community that’s offered its support for nearly five decades. Donations to community organizations like the hospital, local museum, library and community centre are par for the course for this community icon.
Employing more than 100 staff and with roughly 20 tractor trailers and trucks running the roads every day of the week, Quattrocchi is there to stay in Smiths Falls, and according to Fran, they wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We’re glad to be in Smiths Falls, it’s a wonderful place to live, and a good place to be economically,” Fran explained, “We’re close to Ottawa without the Ottawa prices and tax burden.”