For over 80 years Di Bruno Bros. has offered nothing but the highest quality products, made with integrity (often in-house), and infused with the story of the people who made them. It’s a story of discovery, of two brothers, aunts and uncles, of Culinary Pioneers and Philadelphians. And it is that dinner table mentality that has enabled Di Bruno Bros. to not only endure for so long, but also to grow and prosper both locally and nationally. And we’re just getting started. So pull up a chair. This is our story.
As with so many Italian immigrants in the 1930's, Danny and Joe Di Bruno, along with their brothers and sisters, came to Philadelphia through Ellis Island in search of the American Dream. They came to America where rumor had it that the streets were paved with gold, but upon arriving to Philadelphia's 9th Street Italian Market they soon found only cobblestones. With only 3rd grade educations, their willingness to work endless hours, and their entrepreneurial spirit, the brothers put everything on the line--which wasn't much--and opened up the Di Bruno Bros. Grocery Store at 930 S. 9th Street. Danny would often say, "We didn't have much money, but a smile doesn't cost you anything!" The Di Bruno commitment to making our customers smile is still alive and well today.
After 25 years of serving the neighborhood, Danny and Joe had established their store as a convenient destination for groceries and some imported foods. But they soon realized the emergence of the big chain supermarkets could jeopardize their humble, neighborhood grocery business. During a vacation to Switzerland where Danny sampled some of world's best cheese, he was inspired to reinvent Di Bruno Bros. into a gourmet cheese shop, and so was born Di Bruno Bros. "House of Cheese". Cured meats, thousands of pounds of aged provolone, and imported cheeses from Italy and around the world hung from the ceiling, filling the 700 sq. foot store. This collage of delicious products and intoxicating aromas made Di Bruno's the destination of choice for culinary enthusiasts throughout Philadelphia.
Rocky Balboa, the Bicentennial and Di Bruno Bros. become forever symbolic of the city of Philadelphia--not just locally but nationally. Beyond culinary pioneering, Danny's natural business instincts and charismatic personality elevated him as one of Philadelphia's great small business leaders. Danny was instrumental in organizing the annual Italian Market Festival that attracted thousands of visitors from around the country, for three full days of celebrating great food and the rich Italian community of Philadelphia.
As international travel to Europe became more frequent, food enthusiasts warmly received the Culinary Pioneering philosophy of Di Bruno Bros. more than ever before! The two humble brothers were now recognized as local and national experts for their culinary knowledge and discoveries. Danny and Joe and their growing staff were often consulted by some of Philadelphia's great chefs, food writers, TV show culinary spotlights, and "The Philadelphia Inquirer's much touted Sunday Newspaper Food Section for information on new and classic cheeses and specialty foods.
A new decade and a new generation begins for Di Bruno Bros. Danny and Joe decided that it was time to let another generation take the reins of the Philadelphia institution that they had built. Three cousins, Billy Jr., Emilio, and Bill assumed the task of writing the next chapter of this Di Bruno Bros. story. Billy Jr. and cousin Bill, both with their college degrees, and Emilio, with a degree in Culinary Arts, embraced the legacy and core values their grandfather and uncle celebrated. The cousins represented a "Fresh New Generation" for Di Bruno Bros.
As the 20th Century wound down, Di Bruno Bros.' growth was just beginning. With the emergence of the internet boom, DiBruno.com became one of the first specialty food retailers on the Internet. They shipped some of their best-selling products across the country. In addition, the cousins decided it was time to open a satellite Di Bruno Bros. to better serve the hustle and bustle of center city, near Rittenhouse Square. In addition, Di Bruno Bros. "Pronto" was launched at the 9th Street location to offer homemade prepared foods to its customers. This new addition to the Italian Market served the demands of those clients who wanted quality food as well as catering services. The City of Philadelphia was growing, as was the culinary industry, and Di Bruno Bros. followed suit!
Inspired by the legacy of Di Bruno Bros., a loyal customer base, and the great City of Brotherly Love, the cousins put their 65-year reputation on the line in 2005 along with a $4 million dollar investment and created Philadelphia's newest and greatest gourmet destination in the heart of Center City situated off Rittenhouse Square. From the day the doors opened, the store was a great success. Expanding all their culinary offerings the new, beautiful, 10,000 square-foot marketplace introduced a cafe, coffee bar, one-of-a kind cheese cave, prepared foods, charcuterie counter, new meat and seafood department and expanded catering services.
As a result of creating one of the country's finest food stores, in 2006, Di Bruno's was recognized as Gourmet Retailer of the Year by the Specialty Food Association and locally recognized as Retailer and Family Business of the year by the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. The store has been continually recognized for its culinary delights and shopping experience. It has also received accolades for its unique architectural design as well as its influence on the revitalization of one of Center City's less desirable business corridors. The cousins and the Di Bruno staff like to say that we "Celebrate Great Food, Great People and Great Business" every day.
Di Bruno's opens in the Comcast Center, Philadelphia's newest and tallest building! As the anchor tenant in the Comcast Market & Shops, the legacy of "Culinary Pioneering" continues. Danny and Joe's dedication to their loyal customers and culinary pioneering still drives the Di Bruno Bros. of today to provide the most authentic foods from traditional, artisanal producers. They also continue to inspire everyone who walks through their front doors to nurture the relationship between family and food. Every cheesemonger, gourmet specialist, and customer service associate of the Di Bruno family you encounter holds not only a passion for celebrating great food, great people, and great business, but most importantly celebrating the legacy of Danny and Joe!
Writing the next chapter of its well-established legacy of culinary pioneering, Di Bruno Bros. expanded outside the city proper for the first time in March 2011. The Ardmore Farmers Market at Suburban Square, an expansive food emporium, is the area’s oldest such marketplace and was the perfect landing spot for Di Bruno Bros.’ superior products and services. In addition to the artisan cheeses and meats, gourmet goods, and prepared foods customers have come to expect from Di Bruno Bros., visitors to the Farmers Market location will also be able to take advantage of our extensive catering services and enjoy culinary demonstrations and tastings.
Tenaya Darlington, known in the cheese circle as "Madame Fromage" brings the personalities of cheese to life in "Di Bruno Bros. House Of Cheese: A Guide To Wedges, Recipes & Pairings." With 170 of the world's greatest artisan cheeses, she draws on stories and knowledge from our cheesemongers and owners to tell tales of the cheese cave and beyond. We're so grateful to have Tenaya Darlington tell our story and for her to be a part of our cheese family.
Di Bruno Bros. opened its 5th location — a 4,500 square-foot gourmet market in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Washington Square West. Fitting right into the neighborhood, Di Bruno Bros. is the ultimate source for hundreds of fine cheeses, cured meats, prepared foods and artisan products Di Bruno Bros. at The Franklin exudes the same bustling, shoulder-to-shoulder energy that has been a part of company culture since founders Danny and Joe Di Bruno manned the counters at the original Italian Market location. For the busy professionals and families of the neighborhood, this shop includes a full-service European-style coffee bar, signature products including olive oils and private label coffees, and an extensive selection of prepared foods to-go.