Joe LaMotta Interview

LaMotta’s Tomatta Sauce is the creation of former middleweight champion, Jake “Raging Bull” LaMotta and his son Joe.
Jake LaMotta developed this marinara sauce more than 50 years ago when his boxing career was in full swing.
As the story goes, the famed “Raging Bull”, portrayed by Robert DeNiro in the 1980 film classic of the same name, used to cook up and chow down on pasta with his own specially prepared marinara following each of his pre-fight “weigh-ins”. Jake and his son Joe continued to perfect the sauce until is was just exactly right — until you might say it was a sauce fit for a champion.
Not yet available in Syracuse, I can personally attest to the fact that LaMotta’s Tomatta Sauce is absolutely the best there is.
Joe LaMotta spoke with us about LaMotta’s Tomatta Sauce.

Q – You would like the Wegman’s stores to carry your sauce. How close are you to making that a reality?
A – We’re in the process of interviewing with them now. It’s tough. Wegman’s is a good supermarket chain. We’re trying real hard to get ‘em. I think they’re based out of Rochester.

Q – So you’re not trying to get your product into Price Chopper, Smith’s or P and C?
A – I’m not really aware of ‘em. Wegman’s is more or less a gourmet type of store. But, the LaMotta Company is trying to get into the Syracuse market.

Q – Frank Sinatra had his own Spaghetti Sauce for awhile, but it disappeared.
A – But, it was garbage.

Q – I thought it was pretty good. Besides this interview, what are you doing to promote the sauce?
A – We’re doing trade shows, QVC Home Shopping Network, Bloomburg, C.B.S.

Q – You say your sauce doesn’t have the “commercially industrial flavor” found in other sauces.
A. Right.

Q – What other sauces are you referring to?
A – Ragu. Prego. You name it. All those other low line sauces, that use dry products, water, preservatives, starches, and fillers. My sauce is all natural, low in fat. It’s Kosher. It’s made from fresh onion, garlic and basil, three types of tomatoes, crushed Whole and paste. No preservatives. No additives. And, fresh spices. That’s what you’re paying for. If you go to Ragu, and you look at the ingredients that’s paste and water.

Q – And this is the sauce that your father has been making for 50 years?
A – No, his mother taught him how to cook and she used all fresh stuff. What my father did is he converted it to dry stuff to be convenient and I just converted it back to the way my grandmother made it. –

Q – LaMotta Food Products has been around since August of 1994?
A – 95.

Q – You’re also selling pictures and t-shirts?
A – Well, that’s a side thing. It’s more promotion. We’re concentrating on the sauce.

Q – You worked in the restaurant and nightclub business…
A – In Florida.

Q – What did you do?
A – I had a restaurant, cabaret. I was the owner, manager. It was on of the hot spots in South Florida.

Q – And what happened?
A – I closed it down. It got too dangerous.

Q – Dangerous?
A – Yeah. It was open until 6 o’clock in the morning. Miami was a crazy spot in the mid 80’s.

Q – Did you ever take up boxing?
A – Yeah. I was Florida State Golden Gloves Champion and an inter-collegiate wrestling champion.

Q – You didn’t ever want to turn pro?
A – That’s right.

Q – Hard way to make a living isn’t it?
A – It’s tough.

Q – Ever have the idea of bringing some other boxers favorite foods on board as part of the LaMotta product line?
A – No. I want to make it or break it on my own, which is a tough market, in the food industry. The most competitive part of the food industry is the sauce business. We’re in all the major gourmet stores here in the city. We’re in Pathmark, Edwards, and King Supermarkets in the tri-state area. But, it’s only like a year and a half old, so, We’re growing pretty fast here. I don’t want to outgrow my production or outgrow my capabilities of delivering.

Q – You do want to take the sauce nationwide don’t you?
A – Yeah.

Q – That’s about 3-5 years off?
A – Well, it’s about 3 years off.

Note: Joe LaMotta was among 229 passengers that died when Swissair 111 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Halifax on September 2nd 1998.
He was 49 years old.

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