Passanante is All About Authentic
by Cate Murway

Every year people chat about the holidays and conjure up creative gift ideas for the few who "have everything they need." Delicious consumable items are always appreciated, so perhaps you could surprise your recipient with a favorite healthy, nourishing meal. 
Passanante has been ensuring an excellent selection of high quality choice meats and poultry, organic vegetables, homemade Pellman desserts, and flavorful fruit juices for nearly a century.
Since their retail beginnings in 1916, they have been working on perfecting their art! The Passanante goal is consistent product quality with frozen provisions to please the masses.  Their system is tried and true and has been a cornerstone and standard of quality in the Philadelphia area for three generations.
Vice President of Operations, John Lloyd Passanante, Sr., HGP ‘94/ Boston College ’99 and his wife Jody [Ciampa] have four children, ranging in ages from 14 months to 8 years, Anna Lynn, Zoe Catherine, Evelyn Marie and John Lloyd, Jr.
John, Sr. was born into this exceptional business. 
“Well, it’s a family business so my father had me in here making boxes when I was 7 years old.”
His parents are President, Augustine John [A.J.] and Ann Marie [McGinley] Passanante.
As SPC 4, A.J. served in the infantry in the National Guard Armory in Burlington, NJ.
A.J. shared, “I started working when I was about 10 years old and I’ve been full time in the business from 1972.”
A most poignant factor of your family’s company?
“Watching my sons, John and A.J., Jr. come into the business.” 
A.J., Jr. is a salesman in the home delivery management.

John’s great grandparents Pasquale [Asta] and Agostino Passanante 
were part of the Sicilian migration. An initial stop was St. Louis, MO.
Pasquale’s brother, Tom Asta was opening a neighborhood grocery store 
on 1039 Pond Street and they planned to relocate here in Bristol.

His Grandparents, football athlete John, BHS ’33 and Eva J. [Farruggio] Passanante continued the retail business along with Bartholomew “Bert”  [Marion Asta] and Augustine “Gus” [Anna Asta] as Passanante Brothers.
Army Sgt. John, who had served in New Guinea - South Pacific, supplied food to the ships at the US Steel Corporation when they sailed in from the Delaware Bay.

Excerpt from April 1949 issue of THE BRISTOL COURIER:
Will Have Its official Opening Saturday. Augustine and “Bert” Passanante will manage and operate the hotel.  

The Passanante name established its mark, becoming synonymous with quality and great steaks.
The strong familial work ethic is apparent and engenders respect. No one sees the family opportunity as merely “a job” but understands and appreciates it as a “way of life.”

Passanante’s Home Food Service wants you to enjoy their wholesome elegant meals and incredible desserts that arrive fresh at your door. The Passanante family tradition has altered the spectrum and proven that they are committed to your eating pleasure.
Their portion control and customized cutting provides you with an order packaged to your specifications, a tremendous benefit and convenience to you and your family.

Life is busy with all of the commitments of family and work responsibilities but you never need to trade health for convenience and you can shift from your laptop to your tabletop in minutes!
Instead of making a mad scramble to the grocery store at 5 o’clock or opting for fast but fatty foods, you can simply open your freezer and decide which of the gourmet easy meals you and your family want to enjoy, and then heat it up.
Beef, pork and poultry are vacuum-sealed in clear, finest state of the art see-through packaging, allowing your meat to stay fresh longer in your freezer. 
The transparency of their unique casing allows you to recognize the product by sight, no more unwrapping and rewrapping because you guessed incorrectly.

Their home food service program should significantly decrease the time you spend in the market, reducing impulse buying and unnecessary spending.
Buying in bulk is a great way to save and to have delicious super lean, excellent tasting meat, poultry and seafood selections available all the time! 

“We’re in the food business. It’s about bringing people consistent quality with convenience to their home. Our whole thing is bulk buying. Quality meats are flash frozen with vacuum-sealed packaging correctly. All meats are from the USA. We can bring in any fowl from Eberly Poultry Farms in Lancaster County,” John stated.

Send smiles across the miles.
The holiday season is “for kids from ages 1 to 92” and food is a welcome gift for mostly everyone. When it comes to bringing items through airport checkpoints, traveling with food or gifts items is an even bigger challenge.
Passanante Gift Certificates are a great way to share your good taste with friends, family or clients. They’ll smile and think of you as they savor every bite!
Passanante features mouth-watering, delicious world-class steaks, seafood, rich, meaty chicken and the excess fat and bone is eliminated.
Gift certificates are a simple way to send prepared food and dinners as delectable gifts to family, friends, and co-workers.
Choose from a full line of new hand-made quick and easy mouth-watering entrees for restaurant quality meals with less than 30 minutes of preparation. Bon Appétit!!

Do the holidays find you festive ... or frazzled? Stop the stress!
Make the holidays as stress-free as possible and put “celebration” in the center of the season. Relax and enjoy the partying with the people that matter most to you.

You can order online.  Besides the ease of having great wholesome delicious food delivered right to your door, it’s always exciting to receive a package, even if you did order it for yourself.
A variety of delicious and convenient spectacular holiday meal options provide a perfectly complemented, well-balanced holiday dinner. It’s like dining out at home.

Fabulous for families!
Busy young mothers, young adults busy working and/or going to school, and the elderly can all enjoy a night off from cooking now and then, without the expense of going out to a restaurant. Providing wholesome and healthy meals rather than just the sweets that are so often given this time of year is a loving thing to do for your friends and family.

Small is Beautiful!
Do not forget the oldest children, or those young at heart.
For elderly recipients who are only cooking for one or two people, think small, packaged portions in individual servings so they can pull out enough for just one meal.

“Today we’re bringing our savory foods and decades of experience to neighborhoods everywhere. Featuring tender meats, the freshest seafood, succulent poultry and delectable specialty items, Agostino Foods makes it easy to serve a delicious, fine-dining quality meal when you sit down to eat at home.  One taste of our food, one experience of our service and you’ll understand why more people are able to Eat Like A Gourmet… Every Day.”

Your next delicious, well-balanced holiday meal is just a few clicks away.
Now your best of the best order is ready for delivery at 5% off!
Just use code “Bristol Pilot”.
The Passanante family thanks you for the opportunity to be a part of your memories!
Happy Holidays!

Passanante’s Home Food Service
Est. 1916 
2092 Farragut Avenue
Bristol, PA 19007-5691 

My Grandfather "John Passanante" Just passed away in his home in peacefully in his sleep...
RIP Dec. 23 1916-Dec. 26 2012 
he touched so many hearts and was wisest man I ever had the pleasure of knowing and today as dark as it is I'm gonna celebrate Pop's life... Life is too damn short so love and cherish what you have and forget about what you don't. 
I love you Pop     A.J., Jr.

John Passanante 
Posted: Friday, December 28, 2012 4:00 am 

John Passanante of Bristol passed away on 
Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012 at home surrounded by his loving family. 
He was 96.
Born in St. Louis, Mo., he was a resident of Bristol since 1918.
Mr. Passanante, along with his brothers, Bartholomew and Augustine, founded Passanante Brothers Frozen Foods in 1950, which pioneered the innovative home food service business; which eventually encompassed the entire East Coast.

John was a World War II Army Veteran who served in New Guinea.
Mr. Passanante was a founding member and past president of the Bristol Lion's Club and former member of the Torresdale Country Club.
Mr. Passanante was a true businessman who enjoyed talking day to day business until his last days.

He was honest in business and loving with family.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Rose Conca and brothers, Bartholomew and Augustine Passanante.
He will be greatly missed by his devoted wife of 67 years, Eva Farrugio Passanante; his children, Joyce Fischer of Newtown, Maria Passanante of Bristol, and A.J. Passanante and his wife, Anne, of New Hope; his four adoring grandchildren, Jacqueline Aster, Kristy Manieri, John Passanante and his wife, Jody, and A.J. Passanante Jr.; and seven great-grandchildren, Michaela, Kristian, Ashley, Anna, Evie, Zoey, and John Jr.

Relatives and friends are invited to call 9 a.m. to Noon on Saturday at Galzerano Funeral Home, 430 Radcliffe St., Bristol Boro. Funeral Mass will be celebrated 12:30 p.m. at St. Ann Church. Interment will follow in St. Mark Cemetery.

The family requests memorial contributions in his name be made to St. Ann Church, 357 Dorrance St., Bristol, PA 19007. Galzerano Funeral Home, Bristol


Marion Passanante 
Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013 4:00 am 

Marion (Asta) Passanante passed away peacefully Thursday, 
June 13, 2013, in Virginia with her loving family by her side. She was 96.

Born and raised in Bristol, she recently moved to Virginia 8 years ago.

She will be remembered as a loving and caring mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and good friend to all who knew her.

She enjoyed spending her time painting, cooking for her family, trips to her home in Florida, golfing, and planting flowers.

She was a parishioner of St. Ann Church, and was a member of their former Sodality.

She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Bartholemew; her parents, Giacomo and Tomasina (Bono) Asta; her siblings, Augustine, Nardine, John, Benny, and Anna Passanante, and Frances Petruccio.

She will be greatly missed by her son, Augustine 'Augie' Passanante of Langhorne; her daughter, Patricia Trippel of Virginia; her adoring grandchildren, Cynthia, Bart, Doug, Kevin, and Michele; 12 great grandchildren; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to call 10 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Galzerano Funeral Home, 430 Radcliffe Street, Bristol. Funeral Mass to follow, at noon, in St. Ann Church. Interment will be in St. Mark Cemetery.

The family requests donations to St. Ann Church, 357 Dorrance St., Bristol, PA 19007. Galzerano Funeral Home, Bristol


ANNA (nee Asta), on Oct. 6, 2008. Beloved wife of the late Gus, devoted mother of Patricia Grassi, cherished grandmother of Ralph Cacci (Marilyn) and Marcella Cacci, and great grandmother of Amalia Cacci. Also survived by a sister Marion Passanante. Family and friends may call Fri., 7-9 P.M. and Sat. 8:30-9:30 A.M. at GALZERANO FUNERAL HOME, 430 Radcliffe St., Bristol, PA (215-788-2821). Mass 10 A.M. St. Ann Church, Bristol, PA. Entombment at Sunset Memorial Park, Feasterville, PA. Donations to St. Ann School, 418 Jefferson Ave., Bristol, PA 19007. 

Eva J. Passanante (nee: Farruggio), age 93, of Bristol Borough, 
passed away peacefully on Friday, November 14, 2014 at her home 
surrounded by her family. Born and raised in Bristol Borough, she along with her late husband John and his brothers Bartholomew and Augustine, founded Passanante Brothers Frozen Foods in 1950. Eva was an avid golfer, artist, and gourmet cook. She was a loving and caring mother and grandmother who loved family dinners; especially on pizza and pasta nights. She was predeceased by her loving husband John Passanante whom she married in 1946; her parents Giuseppe and Maria Farruggio; her sisters Angie Marino, Carmella Gervasio, and Jenny Mama; and her brothers Sam and Amos Farruggio. She will be missed by her loving children Joyce Fischer of Newtown, Maria Passanante of Bristol, and A.J. Passanante and his wife Anne of New Hope, PA; her adoring grandchildren Jacqueline Aster, Kristy Manieri, John Passanante and wife Jody, and A.J. Passanante Jr.; and her great-grandchildren Michaela, Kristian, Ashley, Anna, Evie, Zoey, and John Jr. She is also survived by her brother Joseph Farruggio Jr. and sister Dora Stampone; and many loving nieces, nephews, and good friends. Relatives and friends may call Monday, 10-12 noon, at St. Ann Church, 357 Dorrance Street in Bristol, where a Mass will begin at 12 noon. Interment will follow in St. Mark Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to: Crossroads Hospice, 10810 E. 45th St., Tulsa, OK 74146.
​Passanante's Bristol food company changes with the times over 100 years 

Today, the shop itself is long gone, falling victim to changing consumer tastes and buying habits that favored full-service supermarkets over neighborhood butchers. But the Passanante name, and the family behind it, live on and continue to grow in the food business.

Nobody could even envision (the longevity of the company) back in the '20s," said Agostino's grandson, A.J. Passanante. "They (Agostino's family) were visiting some family, and they said, 'What are you going back to Italy for?' One thing led to another and they said, 'What don't we start a grocery store?'"

Under Agostino and sons John, Gus and Bert, the butcher shop thrived for decades, until the post-World War II rise of full-service grocery stores made it difficult to compete. The brothers closed the butcher shop and thought about going their separate ways. Ultimately, however, they stuck together, building a new business selling meats to hotels, restaurants and the commercial ships coming and going from the nearby U.S. Steel plant in Falls.

A chance meeting with an Amana freezer salesman again changed the course of the Passanantes' business. The salesman convinced them to sell fully stocked freezers to residential customers. They sold all the freezers the salesman supplied in less than a month, and suddenly they were in the residential food delivery business.

"It was a hell of an idea," A.J. Passanante said. "People were able to buy in quantity and save money. That was the whole premise of how they got it started."
The business grew, and soon the brothers were delivering food to South Jersey, North Jersey, the Jersey Shore and Delaware and as far west as Harrisburg.

Yet, the times kept changing.
The "Do Not Call" law dealt a big blow to the industry. Suddenly, food delivery businesses like Passanante's could no longer buy lists of phone numbers and call people in the hopes of finding potential customers. Businesses had to find new ways to reach people.
"It's a young man's business," said A.J. Passanante, 65. "It's not a business for a guy my age."

That's why, when A.J.'s business partner retired in 2011, the family decided to sell the home foods delivery business. They found a buyer in Jason Jaworski, who had helped build a similar business in Maryland and was looking to go out on his own. He kept the Passanante name.

Agostino Foods, a meat processing firm that sells packaged food products to restaurants, resorts and other commercial customers, remains in the family, now overseen by A.J.'s son, John. Both companies maintain close ties; the home-services office is in a converted house just across Farragut Street from the food processing plant, which provides a lot of the food sold to customers of Passanante Home Food Service.

When Jaworski bought Passanante's home delivery service, he said it had eight employees and about $1 million in sales. Today, the company has up to 150 employees during peak periods, and sales offices in Bristol as well as in Colorado, Illinois, Maryland and North Carolina. It expects to see $25 million in sales this year, he said. 

Part of the growth, Jaworski said, has come from transitioning the company from one that sold well-known store brands to one that focuses exclusively on high-end foods that are unavailable in traditional grocery stores. That includes products from local companies like Illg's Meats, which closed its Warrington store last year and rebranded itself as a wholesale business; and Bensalem-based barbecue company Smoke'n Dudes. 

"We've really been able to transition from a mass market (business) to one that focuses a lot more on quality and chemical purity," Jaworski said. "This is stuff you just can't find in the supermarket. And since it's become a smaller business, we've geared it towards a more niche customer."

In a nod to its roots, Passanante's also continues to sell freezers to customers who need them, as well as other appliances.
While successful, Passanante Home Food Services does have its share of critics.
Jaworski points to the number of five-star reviews on the company's Facebook page, but Yelp reviewers have been especially vocal in their displeasure, citing missed sales appointments, what they see as high-pressure sales tactics and a lack of transparency about food costs.

The company doesn't provide an upfront list of food costs because each order is customized based on the customer's preferences, said Steve Fahey, director of marketing. Costs depend on the products a customer chooses, plus the frequency of delivery. A customer who buys six months worth of food, and pays for the entire order upfront, could see a greater percentage of savings than a customer who pays monthly and has small food orders delivered more frequently.

"Our main goals are to provide better food, to back it up with really great customer care, but to also come in at a price that is competitive and fair, that's not going to be a burden on your budget," Fahey said. "We want to save you time and hopefully, save you some money."

Splitting the business in two, John Passanante said, helps position both companies for future success.
Agostino Foods is also seeing growth, and is actively looking for a new location in Bucks County that could accommodate its nearly 50 employees and its food processing business, which serves other food businesses as well as Passanante's.

"Success is focusing on what you're best at," John Passanante said. "When I was 16, I was given a car and told to go run (customer) leads. But my strength has been in the processing side, what makes one steak better than another. Jason has breathed a breath of fresh air into (the home delivery side). And he can be confident in what they're out there selling. Their customers are getting the best quality product."

Crissa Shoemaker DeBree: 215-345-3186; email:; Twitter: @CrissaShoemaker