Claude left school at 16 and joined in the family business, working 6-7 days a week and often doing over 12 hours per day. He soon learned cheese making under the watchful eye of his father Gerardo. As the business developed in sales and grew in complexity, Claude then took responsibility for administration and sales, and is now the Managing Director. Claude has been on the board of Flavour SA and was also the winner of the South Australian Premier's Young Leader Award. His knowledge and experience of the food industry, specifically cheese, is extensive.
Mick is La Casa Del Formaggio's Business Development and Sales Manager. Mick is a father of 2, grandfather of 4. Born in Rhodes, Greece, he arrived in Adelaide 1957 at the age of 7.Mick has been involved with the food industry from the age of 16, and now has 43 years of experience. Mick was self employed for 12 years, a supermarket manager for 3 years, a sales representative for 3 years, the general manager of food distribution companies for 24 years and has been with us for over 3 years. Mick's knowledge and experience is all gained with practical, hands-on, and hard-work ethic.
Lauren has two Bachelor Degrees in Advertising (Marketing) and English. She has previous experience working in advertising agencies in the US, and as a copywriter for an ad company in Beijing. She started with the company in December 2010 and assists with all aspects of Marketing. Lauren works closely alongside Claude on projects including sales analysis, new product development, marketing communication materials, packaging and website design. She is an American import and is often lightheartedly teased for her silly pronounciation and slang.
Kirsty came from a hospitality background, and decided to move into the food industry for a change of scene. Starting in April of 2007, Kirsty joined the team at La Casa, working full time in administration. At first she found the pronounciation of the cheese names a challenge, but she picked it up quickly and has really enjoyed learning all about Italian cheeses. Kirsty has been a pivotal part of the La Casa team as it continues to grow.
Vanna worked 17 years in retail and after break to raise her two children, returned to work for La Casa Del Formaggio. She is responsible for all administration duties, including accounts and HR. Vanna is from an Italian background and has an infectious laugh around the office. She loves working at La Casa Del Formaggio and is a great mum to her two boys.
Frank comes to us with decades of experience in the cheese industry. His on-the-job learnt skills are invaluable to La Casa, and we are always happily tasting his latest expirements. Frank is always good for a chat. You can trust he is an expert on most topics, including trips to Italy, industry knowledge, cooking tips and more. Get him talking about his two kids and he really beams with pride.
Claire started with La Casa part time while earning her Bachelor and Honors degree in Food Science and Technology at Adelaide Uni. At first she was a casual production staff member, but soon Cara trained her up into a wise, confident Quality Assurance assistant. Claire's favourite part of the job is new product development, as she works closely along Frank to create new cheeses. Her love of cheese first attracted her to the role, but the career growth opportunities and great people here have made the job all the more enjoyable.
Gerardo was raised on a dairy farm in southern Italy; It was in a small Italian village called Ponte Casalduni just out of Benevento. Like most, he came from a large family of 7 brothers and 3 sisters. He learned to make cheese for the family to eat. He married, came to Australia in 1964 and worked in manufacturing. Over time, he longed for the food he grew up with and wanted to pass on this tradition of cheese making. With this in mind, and without any experience or formal business training, he opened a business in 1984 primarily selling home made continental products. The rest is history!
Head Cheese Maker
Abbas was born in Sudan and migrated to Australia in 1992. One month after arriving and speaking very little English, he was employed at La Casa Del Formaggio. He has been at La Casa Del Formaggio, now as Head Cheese Maker for the last 16 years. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience in cheesemaking and has become an honorary Italian. Around the cheesery, we joke that Abbas is more Italian than Sudanese.
Vince is part of the family and has been with La Casa Del Formaggio for 2 years full time. He had 15 years experience in plastics manufacturing and decided to join the family business. Vince has set out a new challenge entering the food industry and applying his manufacturing skills to a new industry. Vince says he is not only married to Marisa, he is married to the business.
Cara is our Quality Systems Coordinator and has worked for La Casa Del Formaggio since February 2009. Cara has a Degree in Food Science and Nutrition with a graduate award for achieving the 3rd highest aggregate GPA for all 3 years of the course. Her role at La Casa Del Formaggio includes the documentation, verification and training of the HACCP Principles and Quality Systems, plus carrying out the updated requirements for Regulatory, WQA, Coles and SGS. Her role also includes performing daily quality checks and in-house microbiological testing, which enables the company to maintain the highest hygiene standards in the factory each day.
Sabina works as a Retail Assistant in the La Casa Del Formaggio Factory Outlet Shop at Glynde. She has been involved in the food industry for the last 15 years. As a kid, Sabina grew up making fresh Italian cheeses on her parents farm. This hands on experience from a young age means she has an in depth knowledge of the cheese making process. Being from a Calabrese background, she found it a challenge to learn the various Italian dialects from our very diverse customer base. She still jokes about some customers that ask "is the cheese fresh?" her reply is, "it's actually still warm!"
Lorenzo works alongside Nicole on our South Australian Sales Team. He has extensive experience in sales and has previously worked as a Sales Representative in the food industry. Lori now manages sales, orders, product planograms, merchandising and new lines in independent supermarkets, as well fruit barns and gourmet outlets in South Australia. He's also a superdad, juggling sales with taking care of his two beautiful children.
Nicole, together with Lori, provides excellent customer service to our South Australian customers. She comes from an events management background, having previously done fundraising for charities. Nicole has happily made the career switch; and her fantastic people skills and love of cheese have made her a perfect fit for the role.
The La Casa Del Formaggio Team
The La Casa Del Formaggio team consists of over 50 staff working in the following areas:
Cheese Manufacturing Plant, Sales & Marketing,
Administration, Accounts & Customer Service, Retail Shop, Warehouse & Stores, Deliveries, Business Consulting and Senior Management.