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Progresso emerged from the merging of two prominent Italian importing companies in New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1925, Frank R. Taormina and Vincent Taormina, who had traveled east to start a tomato importing business, and Joseph Uddo merged their companies. Vincent's family owned the Taromina Brothers Grocery of New Orleans, Louisiana. Frank had immigrated from Italy and joined his cousin Vincent in the venture. They were so successful selling tomatoes that they sold more orders then they could fill and needed funds to set up the infrastructure for a larger canning operation. Joseph Uddo lent them the needed funds in exchange for part of their company. The resultant company was The Uddo and Taormina Corporation and they created the Progresso label  specializing in canned Italian food products, which became mostly soup, olive oil, tomatoes and beans, sold since 1949. It remained a family owned company until 1969, when the company was sold to Imasco. The Pillsbury Company acquired Progresso in 1988. General Mills acquired Pillsbury in 2001.
Over the last 20 years, Progresso soup was often seen as an upmarket alternative to market leader Campbell, and as a meal replacement. The cans were larger than Campbell's and came ready to heat rather than being condensed, both of which helped them attain popularity before Campbell's released the similar "Chunky" line of products. Campbell's Soup Company has since gone on to produce several lines of ready-to-eat soups in reaction to Progresso's innovations.
- "Read the story of Progresso Soup, Broth and Foods - It's all about quality ingredients". Souperyou.imaginepub.com. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
- Charles W. Titone, Grandson Frank R. Taormina
- "The Progresso Story". General Mills. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
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