Carisolo Italy, is a small municipality in Trentino located approximately 30 kilometres northwest of Trento. Currently it has a population of 936 and boasts an area of 24.7 square kilometres. In the midst of this small town, founder Antonio Nella was born. As Antonio grew older, he began to realize opportunity was limited in Italy. Despite, beautiful mountains, gorgeous views and amazing foods, farming was an issue and the industry struggled to flourish. Back in the day, the gorgeous mountains acted as a barrier. Tourism did not exist, ski trips, lifts and vacations were not a thing. Unfortunately, regardless of the astonishing atmosphere, life was a struggle and having to survive daily was a common thing among the population.
Like most migrants, following the war Antonio Nella came to Canada to seek a better life. When Antonio Nella had arrived to Canada in 1950. He got by doing odd jobs in Toronto, until he was able to bring his family over from Italy. Once the family arrived, Angelo Povinelli donated a truck to Antonio to allow him to begin his knife sharpening business.
Angelo Povinelli started the knife rental service in the late 1950s. This knife service consisted of providing customers with sharpened knives and then exchanging the knives weekly with new sharpened ones. This brilliant method of servicing cutlery allowed Nella to expand from 2 mobile sharpening trucks to 25 rapidly. Nella began its service in Hamilton, Ontario with a 1,672 square meter (18,000 square foot) plant at Dosco Drive and Arvin Avenue. With such a quick increase in service, soon the business expanded over major cities across Ontario, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon.
The most opportunistic moment in Nella’s history was getting into the bayonet business. The opportunity presented itself when 70,000 bayonets for the Department of National Defence was up for bid. Fortunately, Nella Cutlery had won the bid valued at an astonishing $1.7 million. At the time Gus Nella worried whether or not Nella would be able to produce vast and quality bayonets. "We never did this type of work before and we didn't think we would have a chance (of getting the contract) but we're happy we got it." "It's the first time we've ever done anything military. Now, maybe we can make more bayonets --- or survival knives."
The Nella’s were proud of the unique bayonets they had produced for the Canadian Armed Forces. "They're better than the American bayonets because we use a stainless-steel blade instead of a carbon steel blade," said Gus. Major John Mullarkey, project director for the CAF small arms replacement program, agreed the bayonets appear to be superior to the U.S. versions, adding "we're quite pleased with the quality."
Throughout the years, Nella has grown and established itself as a premier sales and service company in the food service industry. The foundation of knife sharpening still remains to be its core, however Nella also manufactures its own brands of cutlery and distributes a variety of restaurant equipment across North America and Europe.
Currently, Nella imports, manufactures and distributes a full line of food service equipment and supplies used in supermarkets, delicatessens, convenience stores, restaurants, casinos and more. With many top brand names to choose from and a large selection of quality used equipment, Nella’s experienced and helpful employees strive to assist customers in purchasing the right equipment within budget requirements.
Nella Toronto boasts three locations across the GTA.
- 148 Norfinch Dr. Toronto, ON
- 433 Queen St E. Toronto, ON
- 1164 Ellesmere Road Scarborough, ON