About Nonna Box
Hello! I’m Guido Pedrelli the creator and founder of Nonna Box where you’ll find authentic Italian recipes with step-by-step instructions, pictures, and all the secrets of Italian cuisine.
You don’t have to be a skilled chef to make delicious Italian dishes.
I learned at a very young age that you just have to follow a few simple rules and use top-quality ingredients. So inspired by my own Nonna who taught me everything about cooking, I started Nonna Box to share my love of Italian food!
My background in cooking…
I’ve been around food my whole life. You see, growing up every Sunday was spent at my nonna’s house where my entire family including aunts, uncles, and cousins would gather together for a day of food and family. It was a day that everyone took part in preparing the most delicious traditional regional recipes. And for us kids, it was often also a day spent playing with mounds and mounds of moldable fresh homemade pasta dough.
It was during those special Sundays spent at my nonna’s that I discovered my passion for cooking as I watched my nonna, mom, and aunts create delicious meals with simple ingredients. I loved every moment in the kitchen and was inspired by the entire cooking process, so they began to teach me how to cook at a very young age.
But it wasn’t only these family Sundays that I was mesmerized by. My nonna wasn’t just the best cook in my family. She owned a revered restaurant in San Carlo di Cesena, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and people from all over would flock with their mouths watering to try her delicious food. In fact, the family also owned a bar and a small grocery store too. You could say my passion for food is in my blood.
Over the years my nonna taught me how to prepare many different well-known classic Italian foods like zuppa inglese, carbonara, pizzoccheri, tiramisu, and pizza. Yet, I was also taught how to make dishes such as piadina, passatelli, tagliatelle, ragu alla Bolognese, and lasagne which are traditional in my region of Italy. And as I got older I wanted to learn modern techniques as well so I took a few cooking lessons given by professional chefs. I even took a course in Gelato Making at the Mec3 School, which was a great experience. It taught me the differences and why gelato is superior to what Americans call ice cream.
The story of Nonna Box…
At the young age of 23 years old, I left Italy and moved to Madrid, Spain right after I got my degree in Marketing, Communication, and Advertising in 2005 from the Universita’ per Stranieri di Perugia. I lived there for 8 years and during that time I worked for different companies including IBM and eRepublik, earned my MBA, and fell in love with an American who I eventually moved to San Francisco with and then married.
Yet, then living in California and far away from Italy I very quickly discovered that I couldn’t easily find authentic Italian products to make the dishes that reminded me of home. I discovered that most of the Italian-sounding products sold in the US are not made in Italy. It was around this time that I also realized that most of the Italian recipes that Americans call Italian are not a true representation of the dishes that you find in Italy. For the most part, the dishes served in the United States are actually Italian-American. And while they are absolutely delicious, they were created by Italian immigrants who crafted recipes that reminded them of home with what they had available.
So it was my passion for food, cooking, and a need for real Italian products that had me start Nonna Box, which was originally an ecommerce subscription recipe box that provided customers with authentic Italian products along with recipe cards and stories from a real nonna. It was a passion project that I started in my apartment in San Francisco. But it took off very quickly and was soon moved to a friend’s garage and from there a warehouse.
Being one of the first in its kind (probably the first), Nonna Box has been featured in several publications in the US and Internationally, like WSJ, Forbes, Daily Mail, Repubblica, Corriere della Sera, WeWork to cite a few.
The entire experience of running an ecommerce business gave me insights into how Italian products are imported into the US and I became very well-connected with several importers. But the business also led me to learn more about the history and bond with Italian-American communities from all parts of Italy. It was truly fascinating to hear their stories as well as learn more about their recipes and traditions.
However, while the Nonna Box subscription service was growing strong, I had to pause the ecommerce operations because it just became too challenging to import products into the US in large quantities. Yet, I was still passionate about my mission to share traditional Italian recipes and traditions. So Nonna Box transformed into a website where I share the best authentic Italian recipes broken down step-by-step and all my knowledge of Italian cuisine. And who knows, maybe in the future I will be able to reopen the ecommerce business.
Join me on the journey of Nonna Box…
The Nonna Box story continues to grow as I share more and more tasty recipes each month. So I welcome you to join me and the rest of the Nonna Box community by subscribing below so that you never miss one of nonna’s amazing Italian recipes! You can also find Nonna Box on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter!