Our Story

Conga Foods is one of Australia’s leading private, family-owned companies in the grocery industry.

For over 60 years, we have been searching the globe for the finest foods and bringing back the best new flavours for Australians to discover and share. It’s in our heritage to be passionate about food, family and friends. Our customers, staff and partners are our family and we take great pride in building genuine relationships that last a lifetime.
Our portfolio of strong brands and fine international products represents our zest for life and our Italian spirit of generosity which is lived on to this day.

We stand behind our brands such as Moro, Sole Mare, Val Verde, Green Valley and Saclà which have stood the test of time on the shelves, and can be found in many Australian households.

We distribute our products through all retail channels, wholesale and industrial, nationally around Australia. Our brands can be seen on the shelves of the biggest supermarkets all the way down to the small delicatessen on the corner. Our Head Office is located in Melbourne, Victoria, and we have offices and warehouses in Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.

At Conga, we believe that life is ultimately about two things; good food and good people.

Fortunately for us, both of these fit around a table.

  • 1925

    Fulvio Valmorbida travels from Valli del Pasubio in northern Italy to Australia, working tobacco fields in the Ovens Valley, north-east Victoria. After being joined by his family, they return to Italy, with Fulvio building a business of two shops and a farm.

    Fulvio & Agnese Valmorbida and family; a young Saverio pictured second from the right

  • 1949

    Fulvio’s eldest son, Carlo, returns to Australia and begins work in a continental food store in Swanston Street named Frank Agostino, which sells European foods such as chick peas and lentils.

    An early Agostino truck

  • 1950-1955

    The rest of the Fulvio Valmorbida family returns to Australia 4 months after Carlo and by 1951 the family (Fulvio and the eldest three sons) purchases the business for 15,000 sterling. In 1955 Saverio buys his father’s share of Frank Agostino and business as four brothers begins.

    Saverio working behind shop counter at Frank Agostino

  • 1956-1957

    The brothers form two new businesses, Jarvis and Macquarie. Jarvis focuses on food import while Macquarie focuses on tuna fishing for its sole brand, Sirena Tuna, pioneering the concept of tuna in olive oil.

    A Conga truck, complete with the livery of Sirena tuna, Bisleri Ferro-China and Sasso Olive Oil

  • 1964

    The brothers eventually incorporate a wholesale company known as Conga. Often talked about as standing for Continental Grocery Association, the origin of the name Conga actually came from the coal–fired heater around which some grocery store owners gathered to discuss the group buying of imported goods.

    Conga Trading Co. at its second premises in Nicholson Street, North Carlton

  • 1964-1974

    A decade of successful expansion with brands like Salvo and Coppa D’oro oils, Sasso olive oil, Locatelli cheeses, Jarlsberg cheese, Sirena tuna, Bisleri Ferro- China drinks, La Gina tomatoes and Saclà sauces and antipasti. In 1965, Conga began operating in Adelaide.

  • 1974-1994

    After his brothers leave the business, strong growth under the leadership of Saverio continues, with the addition of brands like Lavazza coffee, Bialetti coffee makers, Green Valley olives, Zanetti and Soresina cheeses, Santamaria sardines, Ceriotti and Scotti rices, Paluani Italian cakes and the growth of Moro olive oil and Lavazza coffee. During this period, Conga also expands strongly into Sydney and Brisbane.

    In 1984, Conga head office moved to Bell Street, Preston

  • 1994-2000

    Saverio embarks on a new era of renewal and rebuilding as the sole owner of Conga Foods. In addition to old favourites like Moro, Salvo and Green Valley, Conga Foods also launches Val Verde tomato products, Kimbo coffee and Sole Mare tuna.

  • 2000

    In 2000 seeing a growing market for locally roasted boutique coffee the family gave birth to Ducale Coffee. Conga Foods continues to grow from strength to strength, retaining much loved brands of the last 60 years, while never ceasing to provide new food experiences for the Australian market.

  • 2000-2015

    Conga Foods goes on to launch Iposea antipasti, Il Vecchio Forno cakes, A Dutch Masterpiece, Royal Hollandia, Cirio, Roncaia, Polselli, Rummo pasta, Numi Organic Tea and its own Australian extra virgin olive oil, Squeaky Gate.

 

Click on the different years to view.