Lost in the Sauce

by Mar 28, 2023Food & Recipes, The Blog, Wilmington

Find local business owner Anthony Costella flaunting his flavorful and fresh marinara sauces around town and beyond.

“This ain’t no ragoooo, it’s the real deal.”

Bringing his family’s tried-and-true marinara sauce recipe from Genoa, Italy, to the streets and shops of Wilmington, find local business owner and family man Anthony Costella continuing the legacy his Nonna began three generations ago via his marinara sauce (pronounced “MARI-NAADA”) business, Antonio Carlo Gourmet Sauces.

The secret to the sauce’s success story? There are no shortcuts allowed when it comes to Nonna’s marinara sauce method — combining ripe plum tomatoes and fresh olive oil, then slowly simmering them with fresh oils and spices.

“Whenever we would serve this sauce to our friends and family, they would say how delicious, authentic and fresh it was,” Costella says. “Finally, about three or four years ago, my wife, Kate, said we really need to launch this. So, we started making it in our kitchen right here in Wilmington.”

Anthony Costella Founder Gourmet Sauces

Launching their small sauce business was no easy feat, but it is a labor of love. Handcrafting small-batch sauces involved wiping out all Mason jars at the local Walmarts within a 10-mile radius, early mornings of simmering five or six pots atop their stoves and hours of cheffing up their culinary creations.

“It was at the point where I even got tennis elbow and I called it ‘marinara elbow,’” Costella says.

The product leaves more than a good taste in your mouth. Costella only uses fresh and high-end ingredients in his sauces, and you’ll find no added sugar in his vegan/gluten-free products.

Beyond his Nonna’s original recipe, Costella has expanded his offerings into three other authentic marinara sauce flavors: tomato basil, roasted garlic and arrabbiata. Although each sauce packs fabulous flavor with whatever fare you pair it with — such as the obvious pick of pasta — it’s equally as delectable with seafood, veggies, your protein of choice, atop a homemade pizza or as a dip.

Gourmet Sauce Antonio Carlo

“We’re giving the community an opportunity to experience a gourmet meal that is truly authentic and Italian right at home with their loved ones,” Costella says. “Once people taste our product, it is literally game over. Our sauce is that much different than anything else on the grocery shelf. It’s like having a meal in Italy.”

When they aren’t formulating fresh marinara, Costella and his wife are out and about in the community doing philanthropy work and giving back through several charities such as the GLOW Academy. And they hope to pass the legacy along to their children and grandchildren to continue the tasty family tradition for years to come.

Antonio Carlo Gourmet Sauce Wilmington NC

Hungry to see what the hype is about? Find Costella’s one-of-a-kind sauce available at local vendors around town, including A Taste of Italy, Cape Fear Spice Merchants, Blue Moon Gift Shops, Uptown Market and more, in Publix stores all over the country and in select Harris Teeter, Fresh Market, Lowes Foods and Earth Fare locations — with more coming soon. And if you don’t feel like stepping out the door to shop … the sauce can be found on Amazon! Buon appetito!

Ready for a taste of Italy?
Visit antoniocarlo.com or find his delish sauces for sale at select retailers and grocers.

Request a copy today!