Our Story

Mama Michelina


She was a talented and generous cook, a supportive wife and mother, and the real-life inspiration behind each one of our delicious recipes. Our founder and her son, Jeno F. Paulucci, created Michelina’s in her honour.

The Early Years

Bellisio-Solfare-2008-004-crop.pngWith deep roots that trace all the way back to turn-of-the-century Italy, Bellisio Foods has a rich, colorful heritage. Founder Jeno Paulucci’s parents, Ettore and Michelina, were born and raised in Bellisio Solfare (Beautiful Sulfur), a picturesque village in northeastern Italy near the Adriatic Sea.

In 1912, after the mines in Bellisio Solfare ran out of sulfur, Ettore emigrated to northeastern Minnesota’s Iron Range, a region of rolling hills, pristine lakes, and unspoiled forests. Michelina arrived soon after and the couple was married in America.

His father, Ettore, worked the iron mines and his mother, Michelina, cooked and catered for families in the area. They opened a little grocery store in the front room of their home to help the family survive the hardship of The Great Depression, setting an example for young Jeno on how to work hard and do what it takes today in hopes of a better tomorrow.

Keep things in perspective: Let go of what brings you down & embrace what fills you up!

Son (and founder) Jeno Paulucci

July 5, 1918 - November 24, 2011

Michelina's founder Jeno Paulucci was born in Northeastern Minnesota in 1918, a few years after his parents moved to America from Bellisio Solfare, Italy. 

With this outlook and work ethic, Jeno literally made food his life. From his early job as a fruit stand barker in the 1940s, Jeno created more than 50 enterprises worldwide, including the Chinese foods company Chun King, Wilderness pie fillings, and Jeno's Pizza. And then there is Michelina's Inc., named in honour of his mother and her authentic recipes. Michelina's Inc, founded on quality and value, is one of the world's leading producers of frozen entrees and snacks.

Jeno, a husband, father, grandfather, and pasta-lover, passed away on Thanksgiving Day, 2011.

Giving Thanks

Michelina’s, a thriving part of the Bellisio Foods Company, continues to nourish communities with warm, rich meals made from fresh, delicious ingredients. We're grateful that recipes from almost 100 years ago are still providing value and daily sustenance, as Michelina’s gives you quick and tasty fuel to make the most of your day.

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