For over 100 years, the DiBella family recipes; created by family matriarch Sophia DiBella and her daughter Anna in their tiny brick and tile kitchen in Palermo, Italy has been passed down from generation to generation. In 1910 our family’s unique Italian biscotti recipes were brought to the New World.
To understand how the DiBella family has evolved after entering the New World in 1910, we have created a timeline for you to view. Please click on the year below in order to read our family history, going back over 100 years.
In 1910, Rocco and Anna DiBella along with their three children, Salvatore, Vivian and Michael sailed from Palermo, Italy and entered the port of Ellis Island, arriving in the United States. After successfully passing through immigration on Ellis Island, the DiBella family made their home in Rochester, NY where they continued their family trade as “commercial bakers”…starting the first generation of the DiBella family in the New World.
In 1923, Anna DiBella began teaching her children and daughter-in-law Josephine the joy of baking Italian breads, cookies, biscotti’s and authentic Italian dishes; just as her mother, Sophia taught her back in Italy. Daughter-in-law Josephine was the only child that was interested in learning the family trade which allowed her build on that heritage, refining the family’s favorite recipes over years for her own children.
In 1930, Josephine adapted her mother-in-law’s baking techniques and authentic Italian recipes, making them her own with just a little something extra. Josephine and her family became known in her Rochester, NY neighborhood through their small Italian bakery/market for baking and selling authentic Italian breads, cookies and various desserts.
In 1940, Josephine brought in her only daughter, Anne to help out with the bakery/market since it had grown among the Italian population throughout the Rochester area. Josephine began teaching Anne all about cooking and baking so she could carry on the DiBella tradition of baking the family’s authentic Italian recipes for breads, cookies and desserts.
As the DiBella family grew, living now in Southern California, Grandma Josephine began teaching her two granddaughters, Joyce and Dianna what the DiBella family had been known for since they arrived in the US in 1910. Each granddaughter was interested in different areas. Joyce had a passion for cooking where she would help her mother, Anne in the kitchen where Dianna loved to help Grandma Josephine in baking Italian breads and cookies.
In 1990, Grandma Josephine began grooming her granddaughter Dianna to take her place and lead the family over the next decade in carrying on the DiBella tradition by opening the family’s first Italian restaurant and full service bread bakery, Giavanni’s Pizza & Pasta, located in Santa Maria, CA. The family’s Italian restaurant seated over 500 and sold Italian breads, wholesale to local businesses in the area.
In 2009, Granddaughter Dianna and her daughter, Lila with the full support of the family, expanded and opened a second Italian bakery, The Sweet Sicilian, located in Fallbrook, CA. It was Grandma Josephine’s dream that this legacy continue, and her family’s authentic Italian recipes would be shared with everyone for generations to come.
In 2010, Anne DiBella, her daughters, Joyce and Dianna along with her grandson, Dennis brought the family together to create a company and brand name in memory of Grandma Josephine. It was our family’s goal to fulfill Grandma Josephine’s dream in making her authentic Italian breads, cookies and dessert widely available across the country.
In 2011, the family formed DiBella Baking Company, Inc. Grandson, Dennis took charge of the company and brought in a small group of family friends including food consultants to help the family formulate a business plan, commercialize their family recipes, and recruited world class branding agency McLean Design. It was Ian McLean, founder of McLean Design that led the strategic concepting, positioning and creative development process for the launch of the DiBella brand into the specialty food market.
In 2012, under the guidance of Ian McLean, Grandson Dennis launched the DiBella® brand and placed the brand among 100 small independent specialty markets as well as a small 12 chain stores in Southern California. After months of monitoring the sales, the results showed that the DiBella® brand was ready to be released for national and international distribution. By the fourth quarter of 2012, Grandson Dennis had placed the DiBella® brand in over 1,750 stores within the US as well as over 350 stores in Asia.