The story behind Angelo Pietro reads a bit like the Japanese version of our own American dream.
A man with a big passion for Italian cuisine, Pietro Founder Kunihiko Murata followed his heart and opened a small Italian pasta restaurant in 1980 in his hometown of Fukuoka, in south-western Japan. He quickly learned that Japanese food lovers shared his passion for the flavors of Italy. One restaurant became two, then four, and within a few years, Murata was running a successful chain of over 60 Angelo Pietro restaurants throughout Japan.
The hugely popular Angelo Pietro salad dressings began as a humble sideline to the pasta business. “We cook our pastas to order and that takes about 10 minutes,” said Mr. Murata. “To keep our patrons happy, we created the idea of an Italian vinaigrette with Japanese flavors to accompany a small salad and vegetables as a start. Customers loved it, but most importantly, children loved it.” As the story goes, parents noticed that children would eat their salads and vegetables – but only with Pietro’s special dressing.
After repeated requests from parents for dressing to take home to families, Mr. Murata began filling his empty wine bottles with salad dressing. He soon realized that he had a hit on his hands, something that would eventually become an even bigger success than his original restaurant concept.
From these modest beginnings, Pietro Dressings have now become the best-selling soy dressings in Japan with more than 17 million bottles of dressing produced and sold each year. “And I give full credit to the children of Japan, who served as our inspiration, said Murata. I sincerely hope that American families have the same experience!”