Thousands of new specialty foods and products vie for attention at the Fancy Foods Shows. This year’s Summer Fancy Food Show, held in Washington, D.C., was no exception. We found lots of genuine Italian products at the Italian Pavilion. And then we found Francesco Ferretti’s Mamma Wanda, a local, dynamic and growing company that is emerging in the specialty foods industry as an importer of Italian luxury foods. It specializes in the import and marketing of exceptional quality packaged consumer food products from Italy. The company focus is on the gourmet and natural food business and its main customers are specialty retailers, natural food stores, supermarket chains, restaurants, food services and mass merchandisers.
We had a chance to talk to Ferretti and ask him about the origin of the unusual but unforgettable name of his company Mamma Wanda: ” The name ‘Mamma Wanda’ came from my mom’s aunty, Vanda Calcagni, who immigrated in Canada, in Montreal in the ’50. After some minor work as waitress she opened up several restaurants in the city, wrote a cooking book and started up a cooking school. She has always be called Mamma Wanda. She passed away in 2009, and so when we were looking for inspirational names for the company (owned by myself and my partner Enrico Giarletta), I easily choose it, as a “portafortuna” as well.” Ferretti is happy and proud to be able to run a business named after her aunt and hopes to follow her footsteps and become a successful businessman in America.
Ferretti and his partner took a big step in launching Mamma Wanda by showcasing their Italian products at the Summer Fancy Food Show, although as he said ” the fancy food is expensive but is the best showcase for the food industry of the USA, our market.” Vanda Calcagni, who passed away three years ago (June 27th 2009), would have been proud!