Dallas-area startup delivers imported Italian foods to your door

A new dallas-based company is eager to bring you your pasta, salami, and biscotti. Called Capsa, it's an online shopping site launched three months ago as an answer to the lack of authentic Italian foods at an affordable price.

Founder Luca Filippone was born and raised in Torino, and missed familiar food items he could not get in the U.S.

"Our concept is very simple: we want to provide Italian quality products at an affordable price and deliver in Dallas and all over the U.S.," he says.

With a background in supply chain and logistics, he started contacting suppliers in Italy and importing products such as olive oil, cookies, pasta, coffee, truffle, cheese, and cured meats.

Best sellers include:

Migliarese Extra Virgin Olive Oil, originally from CalabriaAstorino Organic Pasta, also from CalabriaLa Madia Regale, white truffle olive oil and truffle sea salt, from UmbriaKimbo coffee beans and capsule, from NaplesRovagnati mortadella and soppressata, from LombardiaMulino Bianco cookies, from Tuscany

His original goal and audience was fellow Italian natives like himself, but he also wanted to provide an educational resource for non-natives who were unfamiliar with some of his products.

"People travel to Italy more now, and they know and seek the products," he says. "Our initial focus was to help the Italian community, but we want to serve an American audience, as well."

Filippone is a long way from hometown Torino, noted for its culinary excellence, with trademarks such as gianduia, the famous hazelnut-chocolate spread that inspired products such as Nutella. But he's an enthusiastic Texas transplant.

"I first came to the U.S. to offer support for my brother, who moved to Detroit for a job," he says. "We moved to Grapevine, and I decided to stay here. I miss Italy but I love Texas. I love the culture."

But that's when he noticed that seemingly every other importer in the U.S. of Italian goods was adding tremendous markups.

"I'd see a package of pasta that started out at 95 cents, being sold for $6," he says.

Pastas are a big percentage of what he sells, by brands such as Astorino and Divella, which has been making pasta since 1890. To show how his prices differ, he sells a bucatini by Pasta Mancini - a pasta maker and wheat grower on the east coast of Italy - a pasta that other sites sell for $6 and up, but which he sells for $3.25.

His signature item is Calabrian Bergamot Soda, an artisanal Italian soda made from Bergamot Citrus, grown and harvested in the Calabria region in the southern part of Italy, which he sells by the bottle for $3, or in a case of 24 bottles for $60.

"It's kind of a cult item," he says. "Its profile rose when people discovered it can help lower their cholesterol, and it's also become popular as a mixer in craft cocktails."

Orders over $75 are delivered for free in the DFW area or shipped also for free to any city in the US. They are currently running a promotion that lowers this threshold to $50. Orders can be placed at www.capsallc.com.

"Some of these items are more than just food, they're culinary treasures from Italy," he says.


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