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Business Observer Monday, Mar. 2, 2020 4 months ago

City renames street to honor entrepreneur

A portion of West Comanche Avenue in Tampa now bears the name of Tony Alessi Sr., founder of Vigo Importing Co.

TAMPA — Antonino “Tony” Alessi Sr., founder of Tampa-based, family-owned food manufacturing firm Vigo Importing Co., now has a Tampa street named after him. 

The Hillsborough County Commission approved the renaming of a portion of West Comanche Avenue as "Tony Alessi Sr. Avenue," to honor the late entrepreneur and the company he created, which makes some 800 Hispanic and Italian food products.

According to a press release, in 2019 alone, Vigo Importing Co. processed more than 15 million pounds of rice at its Tampa facility, which employs 174 people. 

“My grandfather lived the American dream,” states Laura Alessi DeLucia, third-generation employee and Vigo’s marketing director, in the release. “He came to America with a strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit. His dream was to work with and for the most important people in his life.” 

The renaming was made official in a ceremony held on Feb. 21, which commissioners also designated “Alessi Family Business Day” to recognize the achievements and contributions of the family. 

Tony Alessi Sr., the release states, was born in San Biagio, Sicily, in 1905 and immigrated to Tampa with his family in 1912. He founded Vigo Importing Co. in 1947. 


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