Joe (Giuseppe) Marchini
December 9th, 1938 – December 28th, 2022
Joe (Giuseppe) Marchini, who founded J. Marchini Farms BB #:135562, a California based company specializing in radicchio and Italian specialties, passed away at the age of 84 surrounded by family on December 28, 2022.
Joe Marchini’s farming career may have ended with radicchio; but it all began with tomatoes. His parents, Florindo and Elisa Marchini, made a long and uncertain journey from Lucca, Italy in the 1920s. They settled in Le Grand, California where he met Carlo Giampaoli and founded the Giampaoli-Marchini Company, a grower-shipper of the Live Oak Brand of tomatoes.
As a boy, Joe enjoyed being outside and watching his father farm, so it was practical for him to grow an 11-acre crop of tomatoes at age 13. In the 1960s, Joe purchased his father’s shares of ownership in the Giampaoli – Marchini operation and started farming on his own and expanded to farming bell peppers, onions, and almonds in the seventies and eighties.
Joe’s passion for the Italian culture and fluency in the language allowed him to make connections with Italian growers, learning radicchio seed variety suggestions and growing techniques. In the 1980s, Joe grew his first successful radicchio crop and actually drove radicchio loads to San Francisco himself to increase the market’s awareness. From then on, Joe’s Premium brand was known as “The original radicchio grower of the United States”.
The 1990s and early 2000s were about consistency. The father and son duo of Joe, and Jeff of J. Marchini Farms, concentrated on perfecting the radicchio operation to ensure a year-round supply to the US market. Marketing came naturally to Joe as he is the man on the Joe’s Premium logo. Joe was adored by chefs along with local and international produce buyers throughout the decades. As the radicchio operations continued to grow, Joe was proud to see his son and grandchildren working by his side.
In 2011, Joe was diagnosed with cancer and the odds were tough, but Joe’s resilience, faith and family gave him strength. Joe’s life was filled with family, farming, his faith and of course a lot of fun along the way. His legacy will live on through J. Marchini Farms and his family will continue to make him proud. Joe leaves behind his adorning wife Julie, his children Lisa (Adam), Jeff (Stephanie) and Fania (Robert) along with his 10 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren with another on the way.