The founder and president of Montreal-based CDS Foods, Cesare Della Santina has over 25 years of experience in the importing industry. When he isn’t traveling for business, Cesare Della Santina enjoys traveling to experience different cultures and pursues activities such as visiting historic churches.
Europe is home to some of the world’s most famous and revered churches. Located in Barcelona, Spain, the Sagrada Familia cathedral is a Roman Catholic church designed by renowned architect Antoni Gaudi. The cathedral has been under construction since 1882, and has yet to be finished. Its current completion date is expected in 2026. To the east of Spain, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is a relic of French Gothic architecture, with intricate stained glass windows, high ceilings, and gargoyle sculptures.
Also built in the Gothic style, London’s Westminster Abbey is famous for not only its architecture, but also for the historic figures buried there. Many English monarchs, including Mary, Queen of Scots, and Queen Elizabeth I, rest in Westminster Abbey, along with famous writers such as Geoffrey Chaucer and Alfred Lord Tennyson.
Located southeast of the British Isles within the boundaries of Italy, Vatican City is home to both St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. Architect and artist Michelangelo designed the dome for St. Peter’s Basilica, and his paintings depicting the book of Genesis adorn the walls and ceilings of the Sistine Chapel.
Cesare Della Santina, founder of CDS Foods, is an importing professional based in Montreal. Bringing exotic produce from Asia, South America, and Europe to North America, Cesare Della Santina aims to provide his clients with diverse food options from around the world.
Though CDS Foods was originally known for importing garlic, it has expanded its product range to include produce such as dragonfruit, a flavorful cactus fruit that grows in Asia and Central America. Vividly colorful in appearance, dragonfruit conventionally sports a pink skin, but may also be red or yellow. Inside the fruit is a crunchy white flesh with small black seeds.
To prepare dragonfruit, use a sharp knife to cut the fruit down the middle. Separate the flesh entirely from the skin with a spoon, then cut the flesh into cubes and refrigerate prior to eating. Many people choose to add the cubes to fruit salad for a unique take on a classic recipe. Dragonfruit is a heart-healthy, fiber-rich option that is full of antioxidants for those who crave a sweet, nutritious snack.
Importing produce from around the world, Cesare Della Santina supplies ingredients ranging from garlic to dragon fruit to customers through CDS Foods. To enhance business operations, Cesare Della Santina works with Groupe Lavigne to periodically retrain staff in areas of sales and management.
While retraining employees can be a significant expenditure for companies, there are benefits of improving an existing workforce. In terms of positions requiring specialized skills, retraining allows a company to share new methods and practices to implement on the job to enable employees to carry out their responsibilities more efficiently. As a result of their enhanced knowledge, employees can produce better products and services.
Retraining also serves the purpose of correcting or boosting the quality of work delivered by an underperforming employee. To avoid using retraining as a disciplinary tool, a company should clearly communicate both the goals of retraining and follow-up steps to determine improvement. During the process, a trainer can require employees to read such materials as policies and procedures and incorporate scenario-focused examples to clarify proper methods for handling different situations, thereby reinforcing the required reading.
In 2000, Cesare Della Santina founded CDS Brokers, which imported fresh produce including ginger, shallots, and garlic from Asia and Europe. Now operating as CDS Foods but still under the leadership of Cesare Della Santina, this company has expanded to work with dried fruits and other produce items, though it continues to deal extensively in its first products.
The company’s City Snacks line, consisting of freeze-dried fruit snacks, has become a major brand for CDS Foods. Freeze-dried foods are resistant to spoilage and ripening due to the total removal of water from the product. Secure freeze-dried packages can keep for years, provided they are properly stored. Freeze-dried foods also become much lighter, allowing them to be easily transported on both an individual and industrial scale. Though these advantages are most relevant to food, other fields have also begun to use freeze-drying. Even researchers and florists can use freeze-drying to keep biological samples from losing desirable properties over long periods of time.
The founder of the fresh produce company CDS Foods (formerly CDS Brokers), Cesare Della Santina works with growers across the United States, South America, Mexico, and Europe. Cesare Della Santina also participates in professional produce organizations, including the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA).
From its headquarters in Ontario, CPMA depends on volunteer efforts to lead its committees and help make decisions to guide the produce industry. These committees include areas such as corporate development, education, food safety, and marketing and promotions, as well as the organization’s board of directors.
A volunteer term of service for these committees lasts one year. Volunteers must hold membership in CPMA. Through their service on one of the association’s committees, they gain experience in a group decision-making process and have the opportunity for personal growth.
The CPMA represents fresh produce businesses across Canada. For more information about the work of the association or to learn more about volunteering, visit http://www.cpma.ca.
The founder of CDS Foods, Cesare Della Santina originally launched the company as a brokerage, then expanded into importing produce, beginning with garlic and expanding to other foods, including dragon fruit and Asian pears. In his free time, Cesare Della Santina likes to travel and enjoys visiting churches and monuments. Travelers interested in visiting historic and beautiful churches have many options, among them:
1. Las Lajas Sanctuary: This Neo-Gothic cathedral is perched precariously above a deep river gorge in southern Colombia. Built between 1916 and 1949, the church was designated a minor basilica by the Catholic Church.
2. La Sagrada Familia: Created by Antonio Gaudi, this surrealist cathedral is one of Barcelona’s most recognizable architectural works. It is still under construction after more than 130 years.
3. Duomo: The fourth-largest church in the world, Milan’s Gothic cathedral took more than five centuries to complete. The construction includes 135 marble spires and more than 3,000 statues on the exterior alone.
With years of experience in the produce business, Cesare Della Santina currently manages his own company, CDS Brokers, an importer of produce from all around the world. In his free time, Cesare Della Santina enjoys cooking, with a preference for Asian cuisines.
Americans love Chinese food – but most are eating a Westernized version rather than tasting authentic Chinese cuisine. One major difference is that American Chinese food is mostly fried in a wok or a deep fryer, while traditional Chinese food is cooked in many ways, including stewing, braising, steaming, and boiling. Breaded and deep-fried fare is not typically found in China – this is an American construction.
Beyond the difference in cooking methods, American Chinese food often incorporates different ingredients, and meals are usually focused on meat with rice and vegetables as sides. In traditional Chinese cuisine, vegetables, rice, and noodles are often the main course. Furthermore, Westernized Chinese cuisine uses ingredients not found in traditional cuisine, including carrots and onions. Authentic Chinese cuisine also draws on a greater array of spices, while American Chinese food focuses primarily on salt and sugar.