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From a small town in Italy, the LaManna family travelled to Australia to start a new life in Melbourne. The LaManna family arrived at Essendon Airport in 1948 with ambitions to start a small fruit shop.
63 years after arriving at Essendon Airport – the LaManna Family set up shop only meters away from the same airport hangar where they arrived.
LaManna’s mission statement “For the love of Food” incorporates the passion for quality food, quality ingredients and customer service. - This isn’t just a mission – It’s their Passion.
In 1953, Founder, Pasquale (Pat) LaManna, Senior Australian of the Year (2009) opened his first fruit shop in West Preston, Victoria. His reputation for reliable service and commitment to quality quickly spread around Melbourne.
Before long, Pat had opened shops in all the major shopping centres in Melbourne and became the pioneer of home deliveries. In the 1970's, Pat was joined by his sons, Vince & Greg and together they ventured into wholesaling Bananas and became the largest Banana wholesaler in Australia with warehouses across Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. The business was sold in 2003.
Pat’s eldest son Vince had dreams of opening Australia’s largest fruit shop and searched for years to find the right location. He had learnt from his Father’s 58 years’ experience that it was all about location, location, location and the North is where he saw his vision.
When Vince saw Building 89 at Essendon Fields, a 10,000m2 post WW2 TAA component overhaul building, his eyes lit up. No-one had ever imagined the space could be utilised in such and way but Vince saw it straight away - he had the vision, drive and passion to bring the dream to life.
The LaManna family opened LaManna Direct at Essendon Fields in 2010. Vince with his wife Linda, children Tanya, Patrick & Stefanie together with all the grandchildren have embarked on an exciting new journey.
What was envisioned to be 100% Australian Grown Fruit & Vegetable market soon has evolved into 10,000sqm of retail heaven incorporating meat, deli, seafood, bakery, patisserie and groceries.
On top of that, the LaManna café has become an institution which has brought friends and family together to have a coffee and cake or a spot of lunch while shopping.
Today, Patrick and his sisters Tanya & Stefanie have taken over the pilot seats and are continually taking supermarket shopping to new heights. The team prides itself on providing its customers with old fashioned customer care – as it comes from the heart and not from a manual. In June 2014, The Age described it as, “probably the best supermarket in Australia.”
Come down and visit, roam around the spacious, low profile aisles, listen to the great music while shopping, sample delicious tastings throughout the store – and relax - LaManna has become an entertainment centre for shopping not a chore.