A tour of the Casa Visco factory

Casa Visco Label On
By Liz Clancy Lerner

When people think of eating locally, they often picture farmers' markets and road-side stands, but there's this whole other world of regional fare: local manufacturers of food.

Casa Visco is family-run tomato sauce company in Schenectady. Carmella and Joseph Viscusi, Sr. started the company as a small wholesale grocery in 1945. The first sauce "factory" was in their basement. Today, Casa Visco makes 30 varieties of tomato sauce (including a kid's sauce, an allergen-free sauce and a fat-free sauce).

Cousins Adine and Michael Viscusi are the third generation to manage the company. On a recent visit to their factory, they showed us how their sauce goes from tomato to jar...

Early each morning one of the company's 15 employees takes fresh onions, basil and garlic and sautes them in olive oil.

Casa Visco Basil

Then the vegetables are added to tomatoes (from California) which are then put into a large pot. The mixture is cooked for two to three hours.

Casa Visco Sauce Spinning

The sauce then goes through a food pump and into jars.

Casa Visco Sauce Filling Jar

A machine then places the lids on the jars and the bottles are X-rayed (to check for foreign objects that shouldn't be in there).

Casa Visco Sauce Moving

The jars are then washed, dried and cooled down by another machine.

Casa Visco Sauce Wash

And they go through one more machine to get labeled.

Casa Visco Sauce Label

The sauce is then ready to go. The jars are packed in cases and shipped around the country.

Casa Visco Pack Up

Casa Visco typically makes 1,000 cases of sauce a day -- that's 12,000 jars. The factory is in production 10 hours a day Monday through Thursday, but lately they've been running the factory on Friday and Saturday because demand has been up. When it's cold out, more people want comfort food. (September through April are their busiest months.)

Locally, you can find Casa Visco in Price Chopper and Hannaford (where they were recently featured as a "close to home" company). They give back to the community, too: for the past two years they've donated $25,000 to the Regional Food Bank. And they chose a local artist to design their sauce label.

Find It

Casa Visco
819 Kings Rd
Schenectady, NY 12303

Comments

The best sauce I have ever had...will not eat any other brand!

I love their sauce.

Terrific sauces. I met Adine Viscusi at a networking function that I was photographing a few years back and won the raffle of a basket of Casa Visco sauces. After tasting them all, I was hooked! In fact, last year I visited a family in Germany and brought jars to them, too. What better gift can anyone give to the palette or to friends and family!

Joan Heffler
www.joanheffler.com

Nice post. It's good for people to know how and where the foods that they buy are made.

Mmm... basil!

I used to live around the corner, it smells wonderful in the neighborhood on certain sauce days!

Oh, awesome!

More than 50 years ago I had the priviledge of working for "JV"( Mr. Joseph Viscusi Sr.) . I have continued to be a close friend of the family and especially with Joe Viscusi Jr.and his brother Mickey. It comes as no surprise to true Italians that all of the sauce products produced at Casa Visco are as good as if not better than those made at home. Why cook at home when you have a choice of Casa Visco Marinara, Basil, Feleto di Pomedere, our favorite "Carms Summer Sauce" and a host of other delicious products from their kitchen. Buono Salute Casa Visco and thank you JV and "Cha Cha" for the special gift you left to all of us who enjoy home made quality in their Italian food.

You can also buy it at the honest weight food coop.

It's so great to support local small businesses and the fact that they make a superior product makes it a win win.

These sauces are the best! My family from just outside Boston also buys Casa Visco at Roche Bros. and at the local Hannafords. No other brand comes close to the great flavor.

Who knew? These sound delightful. I may have to give them a try. Although it is hard for me to imagine using jarred sauce, regardless of how good it may be.

if i don't make it myself. testo's is multo bene!it's from troy. they make the best veal,fork tender, and shrip scmpi!

thanks Ziggy..

Thanks for this. I didn't know this was a local product. I have purchased the sauce several times and now at the top of my shopping list.

Awesome post! I haven't tried this brand, but now I definitely will.

I love this post. It makes me feel good about Schenectady and tomato sauce at the same time.

Casa Visco and the Viscusi family are wonderful examples of great local business partners and friends. I have had the pleasure of thirty years of business dealings with Casa Visco and condiser them among the finest businesses in our area. Kudos on some well deserved recognition.

Love Casa Visco sauces! We're so lucky to have such a great local sauce.

Fantastic post. I love our expanding definition of what it means to eat local.

Great photos of the factory.

I grew up on Casa Visco. Now that I live in Boston, sometimes I'll find a few jars in Stop & Shop. Not AS local, but still great to support an Upstate New York business.

Would love to support their sauce but i don't find it good at all

I can't say enough about any one of the sauces. They are all fantastic and have nice, rich flavor. Why make your own when you can buy Casa Visco. It's better than home made!! We are very lucky that they produce so many varieties to fit everyone's needs. It's also great that they produce the sauce in smaller quantities as well. Nothing beats any one of the sauces. I buy it all the time. Our favorite is the marinara and the garlic sauce comes in second. It is an honor to be part of the family.

My wife and I bought a jar of your harvest hoomestyle suce at the hannafords store in Keene NH last week and went back for more today and was told that it was shipped to out store by mistake. We were very disappointed to know it can onlhy be purchased in NY. I is absolutly the best sauce we have ever had on spagetti and would also love to try it on pizza as We are sure it would have a great flavor there as well. Can yoiu tell me if there is any way to get this sauce here in NH. It is by far the most deliciouse cause we have ever tasted. even beats our home made.

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