Richie DiPaolo, the patriarch and founder of our company, was eight years old when he began stocking shelves at his parents’ neighborhood Italian food shoppe in the Columbus, Ohio, inner city. The DiPaolo family managed the business through the Great Depression and the war years, but post World War II, the Italian grocery store was at a crossroads. Around that same time, one of Richie’s customers opened up the first pizza shop in Central Ohio– Romeo’s Pizza. Without Richie realizing it, the concept of food distribution was born.
Family dining outside the home was becoming more prevalent and pizza, now one of the nation’s favorite foods, was beginning to gain traction. Founded as a spin-off of the family grocery store in 1957, DiPaolo Food Distributors was a brand new company, poised to capitalize on the growing trend.
In 1985, the largest foodservice company in North America, SYSCO Food Services, approached the family with plans to acquire the multi-million dollar company Richie and his sons, Paul and Dick, had built. Then, eleven years later and with nearly his entire life spent in the foodservice industry, Richie, along with his sons, daughter and grandsons, chose to start a new and independent foodservice company.
Today’s RDP foodservice draws on the experience of a three-generation foodservice family and has become a leader in casual dining distribution. It is RDP’s goal to provide powerful and innovative solutions to the foodservice industry. Its team is comprised of talented and motivated individuals, dedicated to sourcing the highest quality products and solutions to the restaurant community.
While the company has the capacity to serve very large customers throughout a six-state region, its independence sets it apart from the others. Being an independent operator allows RDP the flexibility to create customized solutions, innovate and serve as a consulting partner with its customers.
At the end of the day, RDP is still a family-owned business with the same unswerving values. It’s like Richie once said, “Work hard, be honest, have a little bit of luck and, of course, remember your Italian-American beginnings.”