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Alumni News

A Taste for Success: Ces Nucci Joins Business Hall of Fame

June 22, 2012

Ces Nucci is a classic example of someone who turned adversity into a business success story. After being downsized in 1985 from his position as a national sales manager in the food industry, Ces turned his energies toward realizing a life-long dream: starting his own company. He then went on to carve out a highly successful niche in the food business with his traditional Italian cookies called Pizzelle. 

Based in Mississauga, producing on average 1.5 million Pizzelle daily, NuStef Foods Ltd. is the largest Pizzelle manufacturer in the world. The cookies are shipped to the United States, Taiwan, New Zealand, Mexico, and even Italy, making NuStef one of the few companies in Canada that ships products to their country of heritage.

Ces credits ambitious marketing at trade shows and an unwavering belief in the product among the reasons for his success. “I knew this product would evoke memories in Canadians of Italian heritage and would be unique and delicious enough to gain new converts,” he says. 

But Ces reserves most of his praise for his employees. Although its reach has expanded globally over the past 28 years, NuStef remains a company run by a dedicated staff of 74, many of whom have been with Ces from the beginning. 

“I have a great team. A fantastic labour force is the nucleus of our success. It has kept me from moving the company elsewhere,” says Ces. 

It is appropriate that the name NuStef is a combination of his family name and the first name of his daughter, Stefanie, who was born the year Ces opened the company. Both she and Ces’s other daughter, Alexandra, are Sheridan graduates. In fact, since graduating from the Business Administration – Human Resources program in 2009, Alexandra has joined the family business as Sales and Marketing Coordinator. Stefanie is a 2005 Art Fundamentals graduate. 

“The Sheridan Diploma was all I ever needed!, says Ces, who graduated from the Business Administration-Accounting program in 1975.