Marco Contardi was born in a small town called Anzano di Puglia in Puglia, Italy. As a young man, he worked for a landlord tending to his sheep and cows. Here, he began honing his skills as a cheesemaker. He developed impeccable cheese-making skills, primarily making cheeses such as mozzarella, ricotta, provolone, bocconcini, scamorza, and cacciocavallo.
In 1955, he moved to Toronto to provide a better life for his family. He began working various jobs before ultimately going back to his “trade” and passion as a cheesemaker and started his own company called “Grande Cheese”.
Grande Cheese began operating on a small farm in Orangeville, Ontario. During this time, it was essential to be on a farm to procure milk directly from the farmers. Soon, the company’s signature cheeses were sought after from the burgeoning growth of the Italian population in Toronto, and began delivering them to Italian grocery stores, restaurants, and bakeries. They also provided home delivery.
During the 1960s, a third party marketing and delivery system of milk was established. Grande Cheese subsequently moved closer to the city to our current plant location on Milvan Drive.
It wasn’t long before the company became very successful both on a wholesale and retail level.
Since then, Grande Cheese has expanded from its original 5,000 square foot facility to a 50,000 square foot plant, added a new cheese processing facility in Vaughan and 4 additional retail stores.
We hope to expand to your neighbourhood in the near future!