If you’re craving a creamy Twinkie, longing for a refreshing Dr. Pepper or want to unleash your inner child with Cap’n Crunch, then look no further than USA Foods.
USA Foods is a proudly Australian-owned family business, founded by New York-born Jeanette & Phil Bertino working alongside their son Philip.
They found a demand in the market after importing small amounts of American food into Australia while running a luncheonette on Bourke Street.
After several moves, the family found the perfect spot on Cochranes Road in 2004 where they reside today. “We like Cochranes road because it’s a big street with a lot of businesses where we are well-known in the neighbourhood”.
The store prides itself on being “strictly American imports” which can be ordered for wholesale, purchased online, or bought in-store. The largest range of the best and most prominent American food can be found here, including Kool-Aid, Goldfish crackers, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Tootsie rolls, Franks Hot Sauce, Crisco products, Reese’s Pieces, Lucky Charms and much more! The famous red party cups and other cultural items also feature.
“We try to bring as much product in that will appeal to the consumer, while taking requests” Bertino explains, highlighting the example of importing the product Rotel (canned tomatoes and peppers) for a specific customer and they soon became a staple due to popular demand.
The Bertino family also involve the community in America’s traditional holidays such as the 4th of July, Thanksgiving and Halloween. Their Annual 4th of July Mega Sale occurs on Independence Day.
They also support the American Woman’s Auxiliary for the Royal Children’s Hospital especially for Halloween & Thanksgiving, and previously encouraged Trick or Treating when they were located in Bentleigh, but due to a location change, they run a highly anticipated ‘Scary Box’ deal which is “packed full of Halloween spirited goodies at a discounted price”.
With the owner acclaiming this is a “multicultural store”, you don’t need to be American to enjoy the goodies and people of all walks of life are encouraged to visit USA foods and embrace the culture.
Words & Photos by Mikaela Copland