There’s nothing more awesome than a family-owned business. Except a family-owned, Michigan-based business. Johnny Secreto came to the States from Italy in the early 20th century and has created a legacy that Michigan is excited to be a part of. With an impressive line of sauces and rubs and an admirable community presence, the Awesome Mitten wanted to cast a little light on what Johnny Secreto has been up to.
While the recipe giant was Johnny Secreto himself, his great nephew John Coram and Coram’s son-in-law Wade LaFever founded the line of product in 2012. While they started out making small batches of all the sauces in their own commercial kitchen and selling at farmers markets every day of the week, a contract with Meijer changed the way they did business. Because of Meijer’s “Made in Michigan” initiative, Johnny Secreto products have made it onto high traffic aisle end caps in grocery stores all over Michigan.
The company now sells Craft BBQ Sauce, Old World Spaghetti sauce, a Backyard Classic Spice Blend for meats and veggie seasoning and even noodles- a 100% Whole Grain Organic spiral. Co-owner LaFever says to stay tuned for even more recipes coming soon, “One of which is a vodka pasta sauce that we will be utilizing a Michigan distillery for vodka and a local pecorino cheese”. Uhhhh, yum. Also can’t wait to try their Mexicallia, a chipotle spice blend to compliment my labor day plans nicely. To keep up with demand, their line of products is now cooked up and packaged at Food for Thought in Empire, a company known for their organic and fair-trade product lines.
Aside from the grocery explosion, Coram and LaFever have been present in their Rockford and Grand Rapids communities also. On July 25th, Johnny Secreto hosted a free grilling clinic for women of all ages called “Girl Meats Grill”, an expo that showed the company’s products in true form- delicious cooking.
They also continue a strong presence at area farmer’s markets and are active in the “buy local” trend that has swept the Mitten in the last five years. Make sure you continue the trend and check out Johnny Secreto’s, whether it’s at your local Meijer or the next time you’re at a farmer’s market! Like them on Facebook to stay in the loop on more clinics and community outreach.
-Lyndsay Israel, Feature Writer