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FROM A FAMILY OF FOODIES

Although All Aboard Seafoods only opened its doors officially in December 2004, part owner, Rino Saccoccia, has an association with food that dates back decades in Australia and centuries in his family’s homeland of Italy.

And everyone knows Italians love to cook – and entertain! Rino’s earliest memories are of coming home from school to the enticing aroma of homemade sauce on the stove, with a fresh plate of pasta. His grandparents arrived in Fremantle in the early 1960s from Bugnara in the Province of L’Aquila in Abruzzo, Italy to pursue a new life in Australia and Rino, along with his parents, lived with them in a big, extended family environment.

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His Nonno started work as a labourer, as did many ‘new Australians’ arriving from Europe in   the 50s and 60s, while Nonna cared for the family. Settling in the Perth suburb of Midland, where they purchased the  family home that they lived in for the rest of the lives, this is the  house where Rino spent his early years, surrounded by family, lots of love and food, always, plenty of food.

“I guess that’s where my love of good food comes from, “ says Rino. “There was hardly a day went by when we weren’t cooking masses of rich, flavourful food and entertaining friends. In fact, we still carry on the tradition of making our own homemade ‘secret-recipe’ pasta sauce. It was always a big family event when we were growing up and has become a bit of a ritual - something I always look forward to.”

Rino’s Mum and Dad have spent most of their lives in food service too, running Chicken Treat & Hungry Jacks franchises and his Mum’s parents owned a fish and chip shop and a deli, so he has a pedigree that meant he was destined to follow them into the food business. With his nonna’s influence  and his myriad aunties, who he continues to regularly pick the brains of for family recipes - these were the people who provided his culinary inspiration.

So it was really no big surprise when he followed in the family footsteps and became involved in the business too. First, at the age of 13, while still in Year 9 at high school, working for his cousins in their fast food outlet in Bassendean, sometimes for up to 60 hours per week.

“I loved the involvement and interaction with the customers. The team & I virtually ran the business at different times. I think it is where I acquired the work ethic and passion for food service that I have today.”  Rino recalls.

Rino has certainly translated that passion into his role of expanding the All Aboard Seafoods brand.

“I’ve worked side by side with my family in building this business for more than a decade now. To us, it’s more than just a job and, being Italian, we’re happiest when we see people enjoying the food we cook.

“Good old-fashioned simple food that is mouth-wateringly tasty and healthy. I think the fast food industry could be doing a better job, coming up with healthier, tastier meal solutions rather than the usual deep-fried ‘cholesterol bombs’ that some outlets continue to serve up.”

Being a Gen Y product, Rino is a big online user of internet-based multi-media as a communications vehicle and a way of getting the All Aboard Seafoods message out to his market.

But he has enough business savvy to know that today’s consumers demand and expect more: “Gone are the days when you could pass off any old quality piece of fish and a few soggy chips, as takeaway. People are willing to pay more for good food and great customer service, which is why today’s customers expect nothing but the best quality product we can offer. My motto is if I wouldn’t eat it, I won’t serve it.”

And now, having expanded his interests and focused his sights on catering, more and more people will have the chance to experience All Aboard Seafood’s exceptional product.

At just 26, Rino Saccoccia has, through hard work and hands-on effort, accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience in food service and preparation that he is keen to pass on to others and use to expand his burgeoning business interests. While his ultimate aim is to open a casual dine-in family restaurant, he is also keen to make a contribution as a consultant to the industry he is so passionate about.

Rino’s always up for a chat so if you want to know what’s ‘sizzling’ in fast food and catering, get on board with him at All Aboard Seafoods (on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin).

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