Innovate and Thrive: Lessons in Creating Unique Products with Anthony Mongiello

On this episode of the Legacy podcast Paul had the opportunity to speak with Anthony Mongiello CEO of Formaggio Cheese.

Anthony’s journey into the cheese industry is a captivating blend of family heritage and entrepreneurial spirit. From his grandfather’s expertise in crafting rigata cans to his father’s innovative approach to mozzarella manufacturing equipment, Anthony was immersed in the art and science of cheese production from a young age. Faced with the challenges of a highly competitive market, he heeded his father’s advice to carve out a unique niche. This led to the creation of the first pre-marinated ciliegine in a grab-and-go case, revolutionizing the consumer experience with fresh mozzarella. Anthony’s relentless pursuit of innovation and consumer-friendly products has not only propelled Formaggio Cheese to international success but also reshaped the landscape of specialty fresh mozzarella items. His story serves as an inspiring testament to the power of creativity and perseverance in the world of business, urging entrepreneurs to seek new horizons and redefine industry standards.


Topics covered in this Episode:

  • Learn how Anthony is the inventor of stuffed crust pizza.
  • Find out how to adapt to market trends and changing demographics to stay ahead of the competition.
  • Discover the importance of creating unique, value-added products to stand out in a crowded market.


Connect with Anthony here:     
Stuff Crust Pizza facts

Connect with Paul here:


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About Anthony:

Anthony “The Big Cheese” Mongiello (CEO of Formaggio Cheese) has invented over 150 distinctive food items that grace store shelves nationwide. According to the US Patent Office, Mongiello is also the official inventor of Pizza Hut’s famous Stuffed Crust Pizza. 


Timestamped summary of this episode:

00:00:00 – Introduction and Business Legacy Podcast Overview
Paul Dio introduces the Business Legacy Podcast and the guest, Anthony Mongiello, who is the CEO and founder of Formaggio Cheese and the inventor of stuffed crust pizza. The podcast focuses on understanding the values, beliefs, and intentions behind leaving a legacy.

00:01:06 – Early Innovations in the Cheese Industry
Anthony shares his journey into the cheese industry, influenced by his Italian heritage and family’s involvement in cheese-making. He discusses his first innovation, Marinated Fresh Mozzarella, and the importance of creating a niche in a competitive market.

00:07:47 – Expanding Customer Base and Innovations
Anthony explains how he targeted a broader customer base beyond the Italian community by creating pre-marinated fresh mozzarella products that appealed to a wider audience. He emphasizes the shift in the charcuterie experience and the introduction of innovative mozzarella products paired with authentic Italian meats.

00:10:16 – Growth and Expansion
Anthony reflects on the early days of selling to smaller stores and the pivotal moment of selling to larger supermarket chains like Shoprite, Costco, and Walmart. He highlights the company’s growth from direct store delivery to international sales, emphasizing the importance of identifying consumer needs and creating value-added products.

00:12:13 – Product Innovation and Shelf Life Enhancement
Anthony discusses the process of enhancing the shelf life of his products through innovative packaging and ingredients. He shares the example of increasing the shelf life of marinated fresh mozzarella and

00:14:10 – Importance of Innovation in Business
Anthony emphasizes the importance of innovation in the marketplace, highlighting the need to create products that are superior and consumer-friendly. He discusses the impact of offering unique value-added items to buyers.

00:15:27 – Innovation in Product Development
Anthony shares his approach to creating new products, focusing on the introduction of roasted tomatoes as a novel and delicious option. He discusses the importance of understanding product characteristics and market trends.

00:18:40 – Adapting to Market Changes
Anthony reflects on the evolving industry and changing consumer demographics, emphasizing the need to stay innovative and adapt to new needs. He stresses the importance of thinking young, fresh, and innovative.

00:20:47 – Belief in Entrepreneurial Ideas
Anthony encourages entrepreneurs to believe in their ideas and philosophies, sharing his own experience of facing skepticism when inventing stuffed crust pizza. He emphasizes the importance of perseverance and self-belief in business.

00:24:41 – Leaving a Legacy
Anthony discusses the legacy he hopes to leave, emphasizing the importance of passing on the knowledge of success in business to future generations. He also highlights the significance of family stories in business credibility.

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