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john b. gardetto, BUS AD '57

John Gardetto

For years, Gardetto’s Family Bakery threw away the tips of breadsticks to keep their renowned product a uniform size. But in 1981, John B. Gardetto’s wife, Judy, came up with another idea: Why not use the bite-sized bits of discarded bread to create a whole new product? Thus Snak-ens were formed.

Innovation has been a way of life for John B. Gardetto, who was president and the second-generation owner of a family bakery that dated back to 1932. By 1991, Snak-ens and another snack mix called Deluxe Snak-ens were 100 percent of Gardetto’s business. The Gardetto’s Family Bakery was sold to General Mills in 1999. John is the chairman of daughter Nannette’s business Baptista’s Bakery, which creates and produces snack foods for other large food companies in the U.S.

John’s personal formula for success is quite simple: “Do the work you love in order to love the work you do.” He also believes in giving back, volunteering for the Blood Center of Wisconsin, St. Luke’s Hospital and St. Ann’s Center and serving his alma mater on the 1881 Society and the President’s Council.

Says John, “Marquette helped build the foundation for my business and personal growth by instilling in me a good Jesuit-based education, values and focus.”

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