cheese journeys/teacher - Emilio MignuCci
Emilio Mignucci is one of three, third-generation family business owners who currently lead the Di Bruno Bros. Enterprise, a leading specialty food retailer that originated in Philadelphia’s Italian Market. Together with his brother, Bill Mignucci and their cousin, William Mignucci Jr., Emilio has helped to grow the family business from one small store to what it is today; a company with five retail stores, a successful e-commerce business, a busy import and distribution business, a growing catering operation and an independent commissary kitchen that serves the retail stores and catering division.
Growing up, Emilio spent the vast majority of his time in the original Di Bruno Bros. 9th Street store, working, tasting and learning all about the delicious imported products that founders Danny and Joe Di Bruno offered in their small shop. The love of food that he developed over the years led Emilio to pursue an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts. After graduating from the Restaurant School in 1986, he returned to Di Bruno Bros. to take a leadership position as Vice President of Culinary Pioneering.
One of Emilio’s main responsibilities in his current role is discovering new products and deciding which of them will get a coveted spot on the Di Bruno Bros. shelves. He has been recognized by several organizations for his success in doing so; most notably by the Italian Trade Commission for his representation of Italian Food and Culture and the James Beard Foundation for making Philadelphia a “better food city.” He also loves to talk about cheese and spends his time educating members of the restaurant community on the merits of a great cheese plate and how to speak about cheese confidently with their guests.
Emilio’s expertise and passion for food has helped him to grow the cheese offerings at Di Bruno Bros. from the 50 varieties it offered in its earlier days to well over 600 cheeses from all over the world. He still works every Saturday at the Italian Market store where it all began and divides the rest of his time between looking for the next great specialty food product, working at the various Di Bruno Bros. locations and contributing to the various boards and committees in which he participates. Regardless of what he may be doing at any given moment, Emilio is always demonstrating Di Bruno Bros.’ core value of “Celebrating Great Food, Great People and Great Business.”
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