Culinary Harvest founders Carlo Luciano and Sam Kennedy have a lot in common. They both grew up in Italian families centered around great food, where waking up to the aroma of slow-simmering Sunday gravy on Sunday mornings and harvesting fresh produce from big backyard gardens were the norm.
The two became fast friends as students attending the Culinary Institute of America. After graduation, Carlo worked as a chef before managing food and beverage operations at large-scale venues. Meanwhile, Sam helmed kitchens at fine restaurants around the Northeast before becoming the award-winning head cheesemaker on a small private farm in Chester County.
At the start of 2020, Carlo was set to launch a newly developed division of his pizza business, to provide ready-made pies to arenas, and concert halls. When the pandemic hit, he planned a pivot to somehow provide his prepared pizzas, pizza kits, and fresh dough to home cooks. At the same time, Sam had experienced firsthand the challenges that his fellow small-scale farmers and food artisans had experienced as restaurants shut down.
The two friends began to brainstorm a business that would bring the region’s unique artisan products that aren’t readily available in grocery stores direct to households on the Main Line, and Culinary Harvest was born.