Born in San Francisco, Danielle has a degree in journalism with a minor in public relations and started her career as a copywriter in Northern Italy where she lived for 10 years. In 2011 she founded her own agency, Ponte PR & Marketing, where she has worked with clients from both Europe and the US on their integrated communications plan and on how best to share their story whether it be through online marketing, social media or traditional PR. Her husband, Federico Bolla is her business partner.

Danielle Bolla 2

When did you first decide you wanted to make food your career?
I am from the Bay Area (born in San Francisco) but I moved to Italy for a semester of college and it turned into almost 10 years! You can’t live in Italy and not be inspired by food. My budding career in PR took a turn when I got a job in Italy working for a PR & Marketing firm focused on tourism. A lot of our events centered around food.

How did you get where you are today in the food business?
When I returned home from Italy (my new Italian husband really wanted to live and work here, I would have stayed!) I got a job working for A.G. Ferrari Foods as the director of marketing. Paul Ferrari, the owner at the time, is still a great friend and such a passionate food person. He introduced me to a lot of the people I still work with today. My husband was working in animation (he was at Disney, Lucas Film) but decided to come on board with me so I went from a one woman show offering PR and Marketing services to adding a whole slew of creative and tech services as well.

What is your favorite food experience?
Eating white truffles just outside my husband’s home city of Torino, Italy. The Piemonte region is so rich with food and wine.

If you had one last meal, what would it be?
One of my most memorable meals was actually the most simple and was in Sicily on a holiday. Freshly baked bread spread with freshly made ricotta, topped with grilled eggplant. To die for!

What is the most exciting thing going on in food right now, in your opinion?
A passion for local wherever that may be.  I buy Parmesan from Italy…Parmigiano Reggiano, raw local milk from my backyard in Petaluma, blue cheese from Point Reyes, bread from Della Fattoria in Petaluma…

What advice do you have for young people who wanted a career in food (or a career in your field?)
Imagine where you would like to be in 10 years. What kind of life do you want to have. Working in a shop? At a desk? On a farm? Imagine your perfect scenario…because there are lots of ways to work in food!

What condiment is always in your refrigerator?
Well, mayonnaise…but don’t tell anyone. And I don’t make it myself. But it is organic, omega something I’m sure.

What was your first cookbook?
My grandmother’s Betty Crocker cookbook from the 1940s with all the little vintage sketches. They reprinted it and now I have her old copy and my new copy. I can’t say I use it much, but I love to see their suggestions!

What cookbook could not live without?
The recipes I compiled from women while living in Italy.

What is your go-to recipe for entertaining?
My husband’s homemade pizzas out of our wood burning oven.

Where do you shop for food?
Thistle Meats, Farmer’s Markets, Whole Foods, Oliver’s. Oh how I wish Petaluma had a local, natural foods store. I almost started one and then realized I definitely did not need a second job!

What are you working on today and how will it impact your career/business?
Well, our new baby is project numero uno and that is definitely impacting our business ; ) Besides that we are working with Italian consortia to protect and market their products in the United States. We want to protect geographical indications, a name means a lot, especially for products thousands of years old! There is a HUGE difference between buying domestically produced Romano cheese and Pecorino Romano PDO (protected designation of origin).

Are you involved with a food non-profit? If so, which one and what do you do?
We support and donate to Slow Food. We support the programs at local farm Tara Firma, we send our daughter to camps there.

What chefs or blogs do you follow?
Too many! Somehow I always end up on the Kitchn http://www.thekitchn.com/. If you want authentic, everyday Italian that the Italians themselves are using try Giallo Zafferano (yellow saffron) http://www.giallozafferano.it/. It’s in Italian though, but that’s what online translators are for! :)

What project are you working on now?
I just wrapped up a big wine event for Valpolicella wines in San Francisco. We have a press conference in Brooklyn coming up for 3 great Italian products: Asiago PDO, Pecorino Romano PDO and Speck Alto Adige.

What have you gained from being a member of the SFPFS?
It’s great to be a part of this passionate community! We work with Italians mainly, so it’s great to connect with local food people. I hope to find a good fit for a new client at some point in the future that is based closer to home than most of our international clients, most likely an Italian focused wine or food business based here

Danielle Caponi Bolla
Ponte PR & Marketing
40 Fourth Street, #270
Petaluma CA 94952
707.971.0786
www.pontepr.com