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Capitalizing on COVID: Penn State Female Student Entrepreneur Launches Family-Inspired Culinary Venture

Specialty Food Association

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Penn., May 13, 2022—Being trapped inside can have its benefits; that’s at least what Marcella Marino, Founder and CEO of MarRosa’s Old World Cuisine, would say if you ask her about her pandemic experience. While in lockdown, Marcella turned to a classic, Italian recipe for wading through challenging times, dusting off the family cookbook and experimenting with timeless sauces. Little did she know, this would spark magic as, a little over a year later, she would be selling tens of thousands of jars from coast to coast.

Heritage has always been close to Marcella’s heart, even since she was a kid. She shares a name with her great grandmother, whose birth precedes her by almost 100 years. So, when stuck at home, away from her normal life at Penn State University, she turned to her family’s culture to cope. Marcella combined this source of family comfort with a life-long dream that she shared with a grandfather of hers, creating her very own culinary startup. MarRosa’s seeks to share this feeling of warmth and solace of her families’ classic foods while keeping one eye on the future through implementing some of the latest gastronomic innovations.

Since its humble beginnings in Marcella’s Eastern PA kitchen, MarRosa’s has grown into a bona fide national phenomenon. “From June of last year, we were lucky to have sold over 20 thousand cans across 6 different states,” Marcella commented. “We hope to more than triple that this year through building relationships with product evangelists and distributors in major Northeast metro areas like Baltimore and Pittsburgh, while keeping an eye on opportunities to enter new regions of the country.” When asked about the key to her success so far, Marcella stated, “Penn State provides so many amazing opportunities for young, female entrepreneurs. A lot of my success can be attributed to the support that the team at Invent Penn State has given me, as well as my family and friends.”

MarRosa’s booth number is 6218 at the Fancy Food Show in New York from June 12-14.