Site Visit: Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese in Pennsylvania

By Thomas Rossomando, Manufacturing and Technology Advocate

A True American Success Story

On September 10, 2018, Thomas Rossomando, Manufacturing and Technology Advocate, had the pleasure of touring the retail business of Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese in Philadelphia, PA. In the 1930s, two brothers, Danny and Joe Di Bruno, came to America from Italy with a dream and a strong work ethic. With the willingness to work as hard as it takes to succeed, Danny and Joe became culinary pioneers. The brothers had a saying, “We didn’t have much money, but a smile doesn’t cost you anything.”

Currently, third-generation grandchildren Emilio Mignucci, Billy Mignucci and Billy Mignucci Jr. are partners in this special retail small business. This generation of Mignucci’s has kept their families’ commitment of putting their customers’ needs first. Their focus on customers has taken their business from nine employees to over 400 employees and five stores. Emilio and staff like to say, “We celebrate great food, great people and great business every day.”

Advocacy Staff at DiBruno Bros. Cheese

In between salivating over the hundreds of meats and cheeses displayed in their store, Advocacy spoke with Emilio about the business. Emilio could not stop talking about “the positive effects the current tax cuts have on their business and his customers as a whole.” He said, “You can hear, see and feel how confident our customers have been in the new economy. Because we have seen such a positive uptick in consumer confidence and sales, we are now hiring more staff, so we can start training them for the most critical time of our year, the fourth quarter.”

As a retailer primarily of other products, Emilio is extremely aware of federal regulations, which are negatively affecting his vendors. One in particular is the use of the chemical Methyl Bromide. This is a chemical used in the process of curing meats. The United States is part of the Montreal Protocol, a 1987 international treaty that ventures to phase out the use of this chemical. However, Emilio’s getting conflicting information from different U.S. agencies. Advocacy is working to clarify the situation and provide a path forward.

Emilio was extremely appreciative of the role Advocacy has in speaking for small businesses, saying: “It’s nice to know that the government is actually fighting for small businesses across the country.” The Di Bruno family story is one of hard work, love of what you do and love of family. That is truly the American Dream.

Advocacy was in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York for Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables September 11-13.

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Tom Rossomando serves as the Manufacturing & Technology Advocate for the SBA Office of Advocacy, representing small businesses in the manufacturing and technology industry. Rossomando works with small business owners, state and local governments, and small business associations to bring the voice of the manufacturing and technology industry to Washington DC. He can be reached at