The Marinara Tower evolved from having a love for food and a proud Italian heritage. Growing up in an Italian family, pasta was dinner at least 3 or 4 times a week. If you didn’t like it…you learned to! Not only was pasta for dinner quite frequently but it was served at every family party, every celebration and all the holidays. Food was the center of attention; the conversations and camaraderie – all revolved around the table. And not only do we Italians love to eat, but we love cooking the meals together too. You were never too young to work in the kitchen and there was always a job to be done.
Tradition is taken very seriously in my family, and pasta sauce was no exception. My Nonna Rose passed her recipe down to her daughter Madelyn, who passed it down to her daughter Rosemary, who passed it down to me. This is where the idea of the Marinara Tower began. I have vivid memories throughout my childhood and adolescence, waking up to the smell of pasta sauce and homemade meatballs. In my house, you didn’t need your ears to wake up…your nose did the trick!
My mother was a school teacher for more than 30 years. Retiring in 2010, she then went back to school for what was really her passion – to be a chef. Rosemary was always a chef at heart, and I knew that someday she would do something with her talents beyond her own kitchen. I also knew I would have a part in bringing that to life; as she went through culinary school I vicariously lived through her. Rosemary was honored as winner or runner up in several competitions. Peanut Butter & Jelly Pork Chops, the Saltimburga – a hamburger spin off of the famous Italian dish Veal Saltimbocca, were among the winners. As time went on, I realized she and I could be a very inspiring team. Both of our loves for cooking and my background in Advertising brought the Marinara Tower to life.
I have always been a go-getter. I knew that some college was my home after high school and Southern Illinois University was just that. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the College of Mass Communications in 2004 and immediately found a job. I’ve worked in sports marketing, radio and television and in event planning, and although I loved traveling and having lived in different states along the way, I knew that I ultimately wanted to have my own business. My father, Vince, has owned his business for over 20 years and still has it today. I’ve been very blessed with two amazing role models as parents growing up.
It is from of all of these family influences and personal goals that the idea for the Marinara tower was born. Last year, I teamed with Robert DeHaven, a noted architect and family friend to develop the Marinara Tower into a quality product, and bring it to the commercial market.
So you see, if the ideas are billowing in your mind like mine are, and you have the ambition to make them into reality… why not try? An old Russian proverb is quite true… “He who doesn’t take risks, doesn’t drink champagne.” Even if you have champagne taste on a beer budget, you’ll find a way to make it work. I did, and that’s how this towering creation turned into a saucy sensation!
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