Gaeta Foods Inc.

With an Eye for Sauce, Entrepreneur Hits the Grocery Store

After Cosmo Salibello’s mother passed away, he decided to honor her memory by making and selling her pasta sauce.

Cosmo had been an optometrist for 30 years and was ready for a career change. In 2014, Gaeta Foods Inc. was born. The business is named for the city on the west coast of Italy where both of Cosmo’s parents were born and where his mother learned to cook.

He uses onions and garlic from Washington and tomatoes from southern California. A combination of herbs and spices gives the sauce a sweet and salty taste with no added sugar.

Before commercially marketing the sauce, Cosmo met with a SBDC adviser to see what it would take to sell his mom’s pasta sauce in grocery stores.

“She gave me the clarity of business sense that I needed to turn a desire into a realization,” Cosmo said.

The SBDC gave him advice on finances and how to acquire the funds he needed for the business, he said.

“There’s so many ways to get stuck, to get put in a bind where you can’t work your way out,” he said. “Having an operation like SBDC has just been invaluable.”

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