Mancuso was born in Carlopoli, Catanzaro, a small hamlet in Italy.
In 1904, he emigrated to America, leaving behind a young wife
who joined him here two years later. He lived in Carbondale, Pennsylvania
for one month before he decided to settle in Joliet, Illinois
where his older brother, Raphael, lived. His first job was a back-breaking
one for he found work in a stone quarry. Yet, even as he labored
in the quarry for five brutal years, he nourished the idea of
having his own cheese-making business. His first attempt at producing
and preserving cheese products was not successful but he was not
In 1907, Santo managed; with money he had saved from working in
the quarry, to open a small grocery store on the ground floor
of his house. He sold imported foods such as oil, cheese, tomatoes
and other fruits and vegetables. He also sold suits, hats and
shoes to accommodate and fulfill his customers' needs.
In 1917, he started producing cheese again and the third time
was the charm. He had finally succeeded. From that day forward,
ricotta, mozzarella and other Italian cheeses were being distributed
to his eager and clamoring customers.
cheese business prospered. Santo Mancuso's family grew too and
they also participated and helped in its growth and development.
His sons, Samuel and Dominic, as well as his daughter, Catherine,
were the catalysts for the stupendous success of the business.
Today, Mancuso Cheese Co. has a state-of-the-art manufacturing
facility at 612 Mills Road Joliet, IL 60433. (815) 722-2475. The
cheese factory manufactures Ricotta and Mozzarella cheese. Various
cheeses and many other food items are shipped throughout the United
States. This family business evolved because of one man, though
uneducated, succeeded gloriously because he did not believe in
failure. He was encouraged and supported by offspring willing
to work hard and long hours to ensure the success it is today.
For this he was presented posthumously with the Marschall Laboratories
Honorary Award in 1972 for exemplary service, leadership, contributions
and guidance to improve the Italian cheese industry in the United