My grandfather left China in the early 1900's to find a better life in the Caribbean, he was actually looking for El Dorado and got stranded in the Trinidad but that's another story. Like many immigrants to a new land with limited knowledge of the local language, he worked hard, saved harder and lived a level of frugality that most of us wouldn't begin to consider. After a while he opened his own grocery store, followed by a bakery, then followed by a restaurant. My father and all of his siblings have been in the food and beverage industry in a variety of forms for most of their lives as well, continuing the path trail blazed by their father.
Now I am the third consecutive generation of Mooking's continuing the family tradition; it is something I take very seriously. Working for a living and building a career is an incredible challenge that many of us undertake to feed our families with varying degrees of passion. Working under the shadow of family tradition and bearing the legacy of one's lineage takes the necessity of earning a living and makes it a compulsion. After teaming up with SUNSET®, I quickly learned that this is something that Paul Mastronardi and I have in common (amongst our mutual love of great music and delicious food). The family-owned company has passed down the love of food and flavor amongst four generations.
There is a sense of responsibility, accountability and pride that cannot be expressed with any kind of simplicity. I like to think that the responsibility of carrying the family torch grows deeper and more meaningful with each achievement and anniversary of previous landmarks.
This month we celebrate, with the SUNSET® family, the 20th birthday of the Campari® brand cocktail tomato – the world's first branded tomato. Celebrating 20 years of flavor is more than marking a date on the calendar; it is an ongoing celebration of a family commitment, a marker in a long line of family achievements, a cornerstone of the future of a great legacy and a reminder of the pride and responsibility that this double decade landmark holds.
I am proud to be a part of this moment with the Mastronardi/SUNSET® family. Congratulations, I am looking forward to the next big celebration!