Our byline is Distinctive Italian Ingredients, and that is what we are all about. At the heart of Italian cuisine is a respect for fine ingredients that are prepared without much manipulation. More than anything, it is the beautiful ingredients that define the dish. This same value is at the heart of all Mediterranean cuisine, and, in fact, defines California cuisine. Our focus is finding the best Italy has to offer, from different olive oils to balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, capers, salt, beans, herbs, chilies and all the beautiful things used in Italian food. Our goal is to bring the very best from Italy to our restaurants, specialty stores and direct customers.
We love this clip from Anthony Bourdain’s episode on Rome – all done in black and white in the style of the great Fellini films. It pretty much gets to the heart of what we are all about:
Casa de Case was formed in October of 2000 to make it easier with the red tape of importing the olive oil we had been getting for ourselves and friends for the previous four years. This was a once-a-year event when we flew in the just-crushed new oil – the hypnotic olio nuovo – in quantities to last us for the year (And, of course, we are still flying-in Olio Nuovo every year!). Over the years, the word spread and more and more people got in on the act. Eventually we launched this web site to make it easier for folks to order their oil.
Then in the Spring of 2002, after test marketing the oil with a few well-know chefs, I decided to jettison my 35-year career in high tech and launch Casa de Case as a full-time importer and distributor of Italian ingredients.
Our original plan was for Kris to keep her banking day job for about two years while I got Casa de Case up and going. After only six months, things were moving fast and furious and Kris said goodby to banking, and we became a team.
Our new careers grew from our passion for Italy, Italian culture and especially Italian food. It gives us a great sense of satisfaction to be working full-time on something so close to our hearts. It gives us even more satisfaction to be bringing superior products to the best restaurants and specialty stores.
We started with just olive oil from Frantoio Olivestri in Petrignano del Lago, Umbria. We are truly blessed to have met Guido Vestri and his family. They are amongst the best olive oil producers in the world and pursue their work with passion for quality. It is our great fortune to be bringing their superb oil to this country.
After marketing Olivestri oil for a little over a year, we started scouring the Italian countryside looking for other unique and superb olive oils that might fill different tastes and needs. This lead us to sun-drenched Puglia in the Italian heel and the stunning oils from Francesco De Padova. De Padova has 1,000 acres of 100% biologico (organically) farmed olives, and produces some of the finest oil in Italy. Along the way, we added different olive oils, and we discovered other amazing and delicious products to offer to our customers.
We are very proud of the reputation that we have obtained. Nothing is more important to us than our customers, and we are humbled by the list of fine restaurants who are among our customers and who are preparing their delicious meals using our ingredients. These are very fastidious and demanding chefs who have all universally said: “These are great ingredients!”
Kris and Howard Case
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