Cal Poly Pomona Tasting & Auction

The family-run Gioia Cheese Company is best known for its creamy, smooth and silky burrata, mozzarella, marscapone, and ricotta cheeses though it does offer a larger selection.

Gioia Cheese BurrataWhile the company was founded in California in 1993, the family’s cheese-making tradition stretches back more than 80 years to the Puglia region of Southern Italy and the town of Gioia Del Colle.“If we go all the way back,” explained Frank Girardi, the manager and vice president, “my great-grandfather introduced this trade to our family in Italy in the 1930’s. Following him, my grandfather had his own cheese production business, where my father, Vito Girardi, started working when he was 14 years old. In the early 90’s, my father decided to move us to the [United] States….In 1993, my father opened our factory, Gioia Cheese Company,” said Girardi.

Four generations of Girardi Family cheese making has led to authentic and exceptional flavor.

“What has always set us apart…is the absolute authenticity and freshness of our products.” Girard continued. “We truly make our products fresh to order every single day, and we use an original hands-on artisan cheese making method which consists of all natural ingredients with no preservatives and absolutely no adulteration, especially the milk which is guaranteed to be rBST-free (no growth hormones).”

Gioia primarily sells to specialty cheese shops, delis and large distributors that specialize in dairy, produce and specialty foods. Southern California residents though have the opportunity to buy directly from the factory in El Monte where walk-in customers are welcome.

The company’s biggest retail customers are the Bristol Farms and Lazy Acres chains, located throughout California. Their products are also sold in Arizona, Nevada, Illinois and Maryland.

For the 10th annual Cal Poly Pomona Tasting and Auction, Gioia Cheese will bring burrata and smoked burrata in a variety of appetizers; fresh mozzarella bocconcini on skewers with grape tomatoes and basil; smoked mozzarella and caciocavallo.