Rialto opened its doors in Cape Town, 1997, after chance meetings between two second generation Italians, Luciano Previtera and Michele Mirotto. The two shared a deep heritage and appreciation for quality, authentic Italian foods, and together saw an opportunity to source and deliver these products to the South African market.
It all started when Luciano, whilst spending some quality time in the kitchen with his Nonna, made a call to the supplier of her favourite peeled canned tomatoes to enquire about the product’s provenance. It was this bold enquiry that launched one of Rialto’s first successful import lines and catalyzed the prosperous business that Rialto has become today.
Starting off small, Luciano and Michele rented a warehouse and slowly and deliberately built the business up into a stable customer base. Being loyal to their ancestry, they registered their company’s name as Rialto Foods after the famous and historical Rialto Bridge spanning the Grand Canal in Venice. It simultaneously evoked the traditional and the exotic - an authentic Italian association and the gateway to the markets beyond.
From there, Rialto has only continued to grow. In 2009 an acquisition deal with Libstar® was followed by the acquisition of Taste of Japan®, allowing Rialto to become the biggest importer and distributor of a broad range of both authentic Mediterranean and Asian food products. In 2015 Libstar® acquired Patleys Branded Food Solutions® which then merged with Rialto, bringing leading international and local brands such as Tabasco®, Maille®, Act II®, HiPP®, Goldcrest® and Weigh-Less® into the Rialto portfolio.
What began as a humble, family-owned and run enterprise importing canned peeled tomatoes, has now become a global importer and distributor of the finest quality, authentic food products and leading brands. Rialto has become a category led business comprising Rialto Private Label, Rialto Brands and Rialto Food Service.
We partner with leading Retailers, Wholesalers and Foodservice establishments, importing and distributing over 1 000 branded and private label products from personally selected and approved suppliers around the world. Our focus is to grow the food categories in which we are involved for our customers, while bringing authentic food products and new taste experiences from the Mediterranean and Asia to your table.