At Buona Beef, a family-run business at a crossroads

Nov 25, 2021 168


At any private company, working alongside relatives can come with plenty of internecine challenges. But how about one big extended Italian family that includes siblings, parents and children all part of the operation? At Buona, which encompasses 25 fast-casual Buona Beef restaurants, catering and a grocery-sales division, family somehow works. The company is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, noting the founding by Joe and Peggy Buonavolanto in a little storefront in Berwyn in 1981 down the street from their modest home.

Joe, a former Peoples Gas worker, decided to include all five of his sons, including the youngest, Don, who was just 12 at the time, in the enterprise as co-founders. Peggy has passed away since then, but all the other principals are still at it, joined today by 14 more up-and-coming family members from the third generation. 

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