Capalbo’s has come a long way since its humble beginnings over 100 years ago. We believe our success is a result of staying focused on the same fundamental business principles our founders felt were important: adapting to our customers’ changing needs, making product quality a religion and a generous helping of old-fashioned hard work.
Rose and Domenick Capalbo, both Italian immigrants with limited education, began the business in 1906. Back then there were no phones to be managed, no computers to program, no websites to populate and maintain, not even a storefront... just a horse, a wagon, a scale and some produce. They began by selling fruit and vegetables door to door to the affluent families of Essex County, New Jersey. Domenick would get to the produce market by 5:00 a.m. to carefully hand select the day’s merchandise. Eventually the Capalbos opened a storefront at 339 Passaic Ave. in Nutley, which was a local fixture for decades.
As Domenick and Rose’s son Frank grew older and became more involved in the business, he recognized the cost advantages of purchasing goods in larger quantities. He didn’t let the company’s small size stop him, and instead formed buying cooperatives with other local produce operations. Naturally, better buying meant better prices for the customer, and the idea took off. Soon, Frank began to add gourmet food items to the product selection. Attending food shows in New York City, he discovered delicacies from around the world. He paid strict attention to quality, while making every effort to buy efficiently and economically, just as his father did.
So it was that Frank and wife, Dolores, introduced fruit baskets to the product line, while maintaining their popular gourmet food store. Slowly but surely, the gift basket business blossomed as customers found them appropriate for more and more occasions: to express condolences, as get well wishes, birthday gifts, etc.
As the buzz on gift baskets grew, so did Capalbo’s. We realized early on that fast, efficient, reliable service was a top priority. In order to produce our baskets with a quick turn-around time, we moved into our current home, a large facility at 350 Allwood Road in Clifton, where we annually produce roughly a wide variety of gift baskets, now including wine baskets, too. We have also opened a spacious new store on the premises, filled with a dazzling assortment of baskets to view or pick up in person.
Our customers want convenient ordering from their home or office. We deliver that with our full-color, multi-page catalogue, with over 100 gift items, and a robust, easy to navigate website.
For us, delivering quality is still the name of the game. Our famous Grade A Extra Fancy fruit is inspected at four different stages before shipment. Any basket that does not pass inspection is immediately sent back to the production department. People often ask us, “What’s the magical ingredient behind Capalbo’s success?” We just smile and explain that we’re just doing what our founders taught us more than a century ago. Listen to your customers. Pay attention to quality. Give people value for their money. And don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and work hard.
Old-fashioned? Perhaps. But that’s who we are, and that’s what Capalbo’s is all about.
We welcome your comments, feedback and suggestions on any of our basket creations and promise to take them to heart.
While you are online, be sure to visit our sister sites, www.winebasket.com, to see our stunning selection of baskets with wine, spirits and gourmet food and www.babybasket.com, for a bonanza of beautiful gift baskets and ideas for babies, big siblings and their parents, too.