Rao’s Specialty Foods International Expansion

Rao’s Specialty Foods is focusing on expanding its global business beyond North America now that the world economy is starting to recover. Rao’s is already well positioned in Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean markets, but did you know that our products are also sold in Europe and Asia?

Our sales team started demonstrating the products at international food shows such as Anuga in Germany, and Sial in Canada and France. This enabled us to study the international trends and regional consumer flavor preferences to ensure that our products would satisfy the needs of consumers in other countries.

There are many things to consider when expanding globally. Some of the challenges we face are the cultural differences, language, regulatory issues, pricing, packaging, the effect of the exchange rate and transportation issues.

But we persevered, and in Europe, we have expanded into the Scandinavian countries – primarily Finland and Sweden. Below is an image from one of the Stockman stores in Finland:

Rao's in Finland stores

This is Junior Chef Keira,
one of our newest Rao’s fans from Finland.

Isn’t she gorgeous!

**A special thank you goes out to YES Foods in Helsinki,
for providing these wonderful photos.

Jr Chef Keira

At the International Food and Beverage Exhibition in Japan in May, over 2,800 exhibitors from 78 countries demonstrated their products. Below are some of the Rao’s items on display at the show:Japan-FoodEx-2014It has been stated that the more you grow, the faster you learn, and the more you learn, the more effective you become at rolling out products and services. As we continue to improve our Global Marketing Strategy, we look forward to welcoming additional International partners and regions.

Twas the night before Christmas

‘Twas the night Before Christmas, when all through the place, all the employee-elves were stirring – it was clearly a race;

To pack all the gifts in large boxes with care, in hopes that UPS shipping would soon be there;

Sienna and Hunter nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of presents danced in their heads.

kids-dreamingJack wanted the Rao’s wagon, Clare wanted one too! Grace and Cathy knew just what to do.

me-too-peaseThey picked up the phone, and like many mothers – Called 1-800 Homemade and ordered for others.

But the orders were done and put away in a file, all the boxes were taped shut and stacked in the aisle;

The bows were attached, the boxes had gift wrap…We were all finished packing and began to clap.


When out in the office, there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the chair to see what was the matter.

Away to the fax machine, I flew like a flash, more orders were coming in to add to the stash.

Quick! Francesca type them in – don’t be so slow! Carlton make more boxes! Jeannine make a bow!

Erik get the bubble wrap! Mearl find the tape! Gertrude order lunch! Ohhh….we’re not in good shape.

The Santa warehouse was busy, the office was too – There’s so many orders – Ron said: What can I do?

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, extra help just walked in… I let out a cheer!

In comes my Vegas, so lively and quick, She wore a red coat and looked like St. Nick.


More rapid than greyhounds her team came, I whistled and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now Cosmo! now, Henrick! Now Scotty, Floppy and Diesel! On, Susie and Bud! On Roxy! On Kayto, Haddie, Lala and Cecil!


We hitched the dogs up to the front of the cart. Vegas led the way – she knew it by heart!

Vegas has superpowers, I don’t know why, but when faced with an obstacle, she can mount to the sky

So up to the housetops away they flew, with the cart full of gifts, and the Vegas crew.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof, the prancing and pawing of 12 little woofs.

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around, Down the chimney came Vegas with all her hounds.

She was dressed all in fur, from her head to her paw, the other dogs even grew antlers which some started to gnaw.

The gift cart was empty so Vegas came back, but first went to Ania for a cookie and snack.

Daniel, Jay and Jaron reloaded the sleigh…assisting were Lynn, Dominick and Jose

There’s no need to fret, no need to pout, Debra told me not to worry – “the gifts will get out!”

Mary manned the phones, Robin and Deb did too! Everyone here knew exactly what to do.

They spoke not a word, but went straight to their work. How could I doubt them? ( I said with a shirk)

We’ve done this before… each elf is a pro, which is why our web business continues to grow.

The gifts have been delivered. Our customers are happy. So Vegas’s team settled down for a well-deserved nappy.

We did it! We did it! Everything is all set. I hope you all have the best holiday time yet!


As we all left the office and drove out of sight, I wish “Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good-night.”




Happy Thanksgiving

Hasn’t this year gone by fast? I cannot believe that it will be Thanksgiving in just a few days.

As the holiday season approaches, I would like to thank all the people who have made Rao’s Specialty Foods what it is today. I’d like to thank my loving family for their support and patience when all I want to do is talk about work. I want to thank my friends- both here in the USA and in Italy who are always there for me. I’d like to thank my hardworking staff – together we have grown. Last but not least, I would like to thank my loyal customers and business associates. Your support of Rao’s helps us to continue to make great products!

I wish everyone a wonderful holiday and I hope you have the opportunity to share food and memorable times with your loved ones.

Breast Cancer Awareness

Ruby-Briscoe-and-Dr-ChachouaIt has been two years since the passing of my beloved Mother, Ruby. She was 92. Her breast cancer was discovered at the age of 80. Ruby worked for Rao’s Specialty Foods, Inc. for eighteen years, including the twelve years she had breast cancer. She would get her treatment and go to work.

Ruby was treated at The Cancer Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center by Dr. Abraham Chachoua. I cannot praise Dr. Chachoua enough for helping to extend my Mother’s life for an additional twelve years. Dr. Chachoua’s expertise and knowledge in cancer research and treatment proved invaluable to my Mother and also to me, as her caretaker.

Ruby was not always an easy patient. She was very direct, impatient, and above all, had a mind of her own. However, when Dr. Chachoua entered the room, he took her hand, looked into her eyes and asked how she was feeling. Ruby, of course, always “vented” and he always listened attentively with great patience as if they were the only two people in the world. Ruby had complete trust in Dr. Chachoua. As time and the disease progressed, Dr. Chachoua was always personally available to take her calls. Dr. Chachoua is not only a wonderful doctor, but a great humanitarian, and extended her life beyond expectations. I take great comfort in knowing that Ruby had the best care at The Cancer Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center.

breast-cancer-awarenessIf you have lost a loved one to Breast Cancer or any type of cancer, if they are in treatment or a survivor, let them know you care by sending our Breast Cancer basket with Rao’s products to brighten their day and let them know they are not alone in their battle.

All proceeds from the basket have been donated to The Cancer Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center, so that Dr. Chachoua and the other fine doctors at NYU Langone can continue their excellent research against cancer and help patients like my mother, Ruby.

Thank You for your kind contributions through Rao’s.






The oil is characterized by low acidity, low number of peroxides and it has no imperfections.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil is obtained by cold pressing the olives as to preserve intact all of its characteristics.  Olives are not subject to any other process but washing, decantation, centrifugation and filtering.  In Italy there are five hundred olive varieties.


Extra Virgin Olive Oil is characterized by a high content of monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, vitamins and carotene.


Extra Virgin Olive Oil commerce was regulated in Babylonian Law and accorded great importance.  Egyptians considered it God’s gift, Hebrews used it to “oil” their kings.  Phoenicians and Greeks used it to build suitable ships to transport big amphorae. (a large two-handled storage jar having an oval body, usually tapering to a point at the base, with a pair of handles extending from immediately below the lip to the shoulder:  used chiefly for oil and wine and awarded victors in contests such as the Panathenaic games) Olive Oil was introduced to Italy by the Greeks.

Italy is the second largest producer of olive oil in Europe with a production of about 600 thousand tons.  Two thirds of this production is Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

HEAT STABILITY (smoke point)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the most appropriate fat for frying because it tolerates high temperatures, reaching 170-180 degrees without deteriorating as seed oils or butter usually do.  Other vegetable oils during cooking at high temperatures generate high amounts of peroxides, polymers and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which can be harmful to human health.


Extra Virgin Olive Oil, thanks to the presence of fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, soothes skin redness, irritations, and helps to maintain the natural flexibility and softness of hair and skin.


  • It is the only natural vegetable fat.
  • It supplies vitamins.
  • It regulates the cholesterol in the body.  In fact, the regular use of Extra Virgin Olive Oil increases the level of good cholesterol (HDL) that purifies the arteries and helps to maintain a low level of cholesterol (LDL), which occludes the arteries.
  • It contains an abundance of natural antioxidants
  • Thanks to phenols, tocopherols (vitamin E in generic form) and carotenoids Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a “body cleaner” which prevents the formation of free radicals.
  • It helps prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and coronary cardiomyopathy (weakening of the heart muscle).
  • It helps prevent stomach related problems due to its composition.
  • It has a balance of fatty acids
  • It is more resistant to high temperatures compared to the more widely used vegetable oil


Tomato Update: Out of the nursery and into the fields

tomatoe-fieldsI have just returned from Italy checking on our tomatoes for the new crop this summer. The babies are now out of the nursery and have been planted in the ground to start their journey toward becoming adults for harvesting.

There are pictures of the plants being put in the ground. This can be done by hand or by machinery. Ours are put in the ground by hand. The pictures show part of my team enjoying the beautiful green plants, Deb Crisan and Marisa Corti. You will notice one gentlemen in the field with me and Marisa, he is the grower checking the plants with us. The other gentlemen in the picture with me is Felice Romano of LaRegina. These are his tomatoes that have been planted. He is very hands on with the crop because he will only pack the finest tomatoes for the consumer and Rao’s sauce.

15-days-later-bYou will notice a few pictures where the plants look smaller. Those tomatoes were planted 15 days after the first planting. This is to give the first crop a chance to be picked and the second a little more time to mature while the first crop is being picked. Tomatoes have a history from the time they are purchased to the ripening of the berries. They are continually monitored in the field right up to and through the time they are picked and loaded on containers headed for the Plant.

I have always loved tomatoes since I was a little girl. On my grandparents farm I would always help pick the tomatoes from the garden and couldn’t help eating numerous tomatoes as I was picking them. I am enjoying this journey with the tomatoes even more because the end result is Rao’s pasta sauce. I will continue to bring you updates and pictures as they mature, get picked and arrive at the Plant.

In Loving Memory of Ruby and on behalf of all Mothers, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY


She is the whisper of a particular memory
The smell of a lovely fragrance that always follows you
The cool hand on your brow when you are not well
She lives inside your laughter and is crystallized in every tear
She is the place you came from
Nothing on this earth will every separate you
No time, not space, or even death
You carry her inside you and can always count on her
She is with you in heart and soul to love and protect you
She is a beautiful woman, your mother and best friend

Mothers: Ruby, Sharon, Lori, Gertrude, Lynn, Linda, Barbara, Debra, Nancy, Lorraine, Theresa, Ana Bonilla, Lois, Catherine, Grace, Carol, Phyllis & Jean
Children: Sharon, Lori, Casey, Gabby, Ron, Gertrude, Lynn, Dominic, Joanne, Loshana, Mikolaj, Ania, Elzbieta, Dan, Jose, Becky, Brendan, James, Deb, Patrick, Danny, Mary, Helen, Jeanine, Joseph, John, Mearl, Carlton, Jaron, Sienna & Hunter

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