Goodbye Italy, Hello Hibbing: The Dawning of Sunrise
Guilio Forti was one of thousands of Italians who immigrated to Minnesota’s Iron Range in the early 1900s, hoping for a better life. But Guilio, already 50, was too old to work in the mines as others did. So he put the skills he’d learned as a baker in Rome to work and started Sunrise in 1913.
From their North Hibbing location, the Forti family distributed Italian and Vienna bread by horse-drawn carriages to the mines. Each generation contributed new ideas and products to the business.
Guilio’s son Vincent added mechanization and a line of pastries, donuts and cakes. Vincent’s son, Thomas, together with his wife, Mary, created a deli that featured imported delicacies and foods long cherished by the Iron Range’s diverse immigrant population. And now their son, Tom—the fourth generation Forti—is helping Sunrise bring its Italian entrees, pastas, sauces and other ethnic specialties to locations throughout Minnesota.
A lot has changed since Guilio fired up his first oven, but Sunrise continues to adhere to the philosophy that has sustained it for nearly 100 years: Quality food made with care and skill, true to its Italian origins.