Growing up in rural Puglia, Italy, Michele Iadarola was surrounded by the rich cuisine of the region. He founded Especially Puglia out of a desire to share the unique culinary tradition of Puglia with the world. After receiving a Masters in Business Management from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Michele had the unique opportunity of moving to New York City to work for various importing and wholesale distribution companies. Within these companies he lead and managed global strategy, logistics, sales & marketing as well as consulted on various internet projects within the food industry. It was while working for these more traditional outlets that Michele became impassioned to change the way consumers interact with growers in the food system. In 2014, Michele founded Especially Puglia in New York City to connect Americans with the bounty of local, family-run farms in native Puglia. Especially Puglia’s mission is to facilitate a more transparent food system and invite consumers to be an active part of the harvest, providing them products season by season, and encouraging them to interact through their Adopt an Olive Tree and FarmShare programs, or visiting and experiencing first hand the harvest with the farmers.