Mancuso Cheese Company

Family Owned Since 1907







612 Mills Rd.
Joliet, IL 60433


Santo 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 discouraged.

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.

The 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 States.