a dream made real

Our family has been nourishing people with food and love for five generations. Francesco Lanza arrived in Brooklyn with his young family in 1910. Chasing the sun and good food, he decided to take a trip to California where he saw beautiful terrain that reminded him of back home Italy. That planted the seed of a new dream and Francesco moved his family from Brooklyn to San Francisco to grow olives and produce olive oil. He went on to become the owner of the first restaurant on San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf.
Photo of James Lanza holding the hands of 2 young boys
Once prohibition ended, Francesco’s son, James Lanza founded Lanza Wine and became one of the first people in the U.S. to hold a trademark for wine. He went on to have a fantastic career selling vino.
James’ son Frank Ciccio Lanza, picked olives as a teen. Working in the family business taught him lessons about hard work and humility that later allowed him to excel in corporate America. He became a Fortune 500 CEO. His leadership took the companies, charities and people he touched from good to great. He improved the lives of many less fortunate than himself through his philanthropy.
Frank Lanza sitting at a table with his wife
James Lanza Jr. cooking
Frank’s son, James Lanza Jr., founded the original Ciccio’s in New York. When James was in his early twenties working a boring desk job in the Empire State Building, he got a call about a half-finished restaurant that was for sale on the Upper West Side, Manhattan from his brother Louie. They decided to follow in the forefather’s footsteps and go into the restaurant business. An accountant by trade, James had no idea what he was doing but was driven by his love of food to make the business work. He realized early on he would need great partners to bring his vision to life.
James’ son, Matt Lanza, grew up in the business, eating great food and hanging around in the restaurants. Matt was eager to make a life for himself in the restaurant biz, so he helped open Cali St. Pete in 2005. By staying true to the family mission of nourishing people with food and love, we redefined success as profits with a purpose. Our profits are shared with our people, reinvested into sustainability initiatives and educating our community, and donated to local charities.
Matt Lanza