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Joseph Civita started working in his family’s restaurants in New York and Boston at the age of 10. He knew right from the start that the food business was for him. From there he went on to receive his degree in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management from New York City Technical College. He gained further experience in the field by working at the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City and as the Culinary Consultant to a major department store chain there.

Joe began his career in the independent school community when he became the Director of Food Services at the Brearley School. He had found his niche – students, faculty, parents, all yearning for first-rate food. “If you can do it in a restaurant, why not in a school?” he thought. Joe set out to remake school food. He would go to the local green grocer early each morning to hand select the freshest ingredients he could find and then carefully prepare them to preserve their nutrients, color and taste. Before long, his lunchroom was the talk of the town. Naturally, other schools wanted to benefit from what he had to offer. So, in 1985 he founded JC FOOD and it has become one of the best-known food service companies specializing in independent schools in the New York City metro area.

"Preparing good food has always been the easy part for us. But today more than ever, in this fast food world we live in, we need to make every effort to educate our students about good quality food and healthy eating."

Lisa Suriano joined the family company full-time in May 2005 just after receiving a degree in Business Administration from The College of New Jersey. Growing up, she had already worked in many different aspects of the company. Recently, Lisa completed her Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Science and earned her ServSafe Certification. She is also a certified personal trainer and teaches aerobics, dance and Yoga. She has been very active in procuring local and organic products and she reviews our menus to emphasize whole grains, fresh produce and well-balanced meals. Lisa assists with supervision of the day-to-day operations of many of our client schools. Behind the scenes, she coordinates our annual food show, which brings numerous vendors together with the unit managers to showcase and discuss the latest, healthiest products for our students. Finally, Lisa has developed and implemented the Veggiecation© Program, charming countless children to eat and love their veggies.

"My father always told me ‘Make your life's work your hobby.’ Thanks to him, that is exactly what I did. My father always told me ‘Make your lifes work your hobby.’ Thanks to him, that is exactly what I did."

Susan has worked in food service management in New York City independent schools since 1978. She was the Director of Food Services for ten years at the Nightingale-Bamford School of which she is an alumna and joined J.C. FOOD in 1988. She is experienced and well versed in all areas of the company. She brings longevity and an in-depth understanding of the inner workings and needs of both the schools and J.C. FOODS. Sue is responsible for preparing all proposals, food service master plans, budget projections and documents for the company.

"I love the feeling that every day our food makes an important difference in the life of the school communities we work with. Most importantly, in an educational environment nutritious foods and healthy eating should play an integral role in learning. J.C. FOOD promotes that role and I am proud to be part of our team effort."

Nancy Burgos-Jackson joined our company in 1993. She received her degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from New York City Technical College and joined the company in 1993. After graduation, she was selected by the school to do an internship in Germany. She took full advantage of her time in Europe, traveling extensively and getting first hand experience in sampling different foods and cultures. At every opportunity, Nancy has continued her travels - always on the trail of new food adventures, which she brings back and shares with the schools. Nancy worked in independent school food service for four years as the Assistant Chef Manager before taking on the position she now holds. Nancy is a very talented innovative chef who oversees the day-to-day operations of a number of our accounts.

"The best part of my job is getting to see the SMILES on the students’ faces and see how excited they get about the foods that we serve them! I have the best of both worlds - planning fun, wholesome menus for the students and creating amazing special events for the parents and alumnae. I am passionate about my job because I love to cook and so many people enjoy my food."
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