Daughters Holly and Cathy (left); John and son Mike making wine.

In 1971 John Croce, otherwise known as "Big John", began PFI out of the back of his car. With a wife and three children to feed, he took a leap of faith and started Pacific Food Importers. John began selling imported olives and feta cheese to Greek restaurants and being a son of Seattle's Garlic Gulch, he soon added Italian products to his repertoire of specialty foods. 

John was well known in the community having served as Albert Rosellini's campaign manager, starting the local Boys Club in the Rainier Valley and as the owner of several grocery stores. 

When word spread that Big John was selling delicious Italian and Greek cheeses, olives, figs, peppers, pasta, olive oil etc. to restaurants, retail customers began pounding on Big John's door and soon John opened once a week to retail shoppers. 

Big John quickly outgrew the store front and after a couple of moves has settled the retail store on 6th Ave. South just south of Chinatown.

Over the years PFI has become a gathering place for food lovers where Big John offers advice on love, life, gardening and all things Italian. 

PFI's mission is to provide excellent customer service, the highest quality products at the best prices and a little "old world flavor" to a sometimes stuffy business world.

PFI is a company with a heart and a soul and is very much like a family. We are reliable but not rigid. To Big John and his company, food is not just a way to earn a living, but a way of life. Perhaps Sophia Loren put it best when she said "Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti."