VALLEY OF HEART's DELIGHT
cferoben from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara
County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922.
SURNAMES: BOZZO, PERELLI
An enterprising, progressive and successful business
man of whom Santa Clara County may well be proud is Gennaro Filice,
president and general manager of the Filice & Perrelli Canning
Company, Inc., of Gilroy. A native of Italy, he was boom at Cosines,
August 7, 1890, the son of Michael and Delfma (Bozzo) Filice,
substantial farmer folk and worthy in every way, who had the courage
to come out to California in 1906, when they settled in Gilroy. Gennaro
received but a limited schooling and at the age of eleven became a
wage earner, and at the age of seventeen he struck out for himself and
since then has gained a great deal through practical experience, a
severe and hard teacher.
He left his native country in 1906 and landed in New York,
going thence to Montreal, Ontario and Winnipeg, then through British
Columbia, working as he went along and becoming familiar with the
conditions of the New World. He then came into the United States and to
California, arriving at Gilroy in December, 1906, where he met his
parents, who had arrived here the month previous from their native
Italy. Looking about the town and vicinity, Gennaro entered the employ
of the Bisceglia Brothers, proprietors of a cannery and owners of a
ranch near Holister, and he began work on the ranch and after
mastering the details he became their foreman in 1912 and held that
position until 1914. During those years he saved his money and he and
his father bought six acres near Gilroy and there they erected their
first cannery, being associated with John Perrelli and his
had arrived here in 1907.
Mr. Perrelli was born in Italy on October 26,
1895, and was only seventeen when he joined with Mr. Filice in the
canning business, and they have since been associated together, working
under the firm name of Filice and Perrelli Canning Company. The first
year, 1914, they put out a pack of 17,000 cases of tomatoes and this
was only accomplished by the hardest kind of work, all those
interested in the venture working from sixteen to twenty hours a day
during the busy season in the little cannery on the six acres owned by
Mr. Filice and his father.
So successful was their enterprise that in 1917 they incorporated for
$100,000 capital stock, bought four acres in Gilroy at Lewis and
Railroad streets and erected a small, but sanitary plant adjoining the
Southern Pacific tracks. From that time their patronage warranted the
enlargement of the plant each season and the increasing of their
capital stock until in 1922 it is $400,000, and they handle over
350,000 cases of fruit and vegetables each season. Besides
canning and packing plant they own 205 acres of orchard, which they
bought as bare land and have set to orchard and now, 1922, is coming
into bearing. Their plant in town covers over one and one half acres
besides the cottages for their help, the machine shop and boiler plant.
During the busy seasons they have in their employ from 400 to 500
persons, and they specialize in packing their especial F. &. P.
Brand and ship to all parts of the country. To facilitate shipping they
have a siding for their own use. The officers of the corporation are:
Gennaro Filice, president and general manager; John Perrelli,
vice-president and assistant manager; Frank Filice, second
vice-president and assistant manager, and these three make up the board
of directors of the corporation.
On July 12, 1914, at Gilroy, Gennaro Filice was united in marriage with
Miss Angelina Perrelli, who died on November 27, 1917, leaving two
children, Delfina and Michael. On November, 1920, Mr. Filice was again
married, Miss Clara Bozzo becoming his wife. In politics he is a
Republican and he and his family are members of the Catholic Church.
Mr. Perrelli married Miss Mary Filice and they have a son, Philip
Perrelli. Both Mr. Filice and Mr. Perrelli hold membership in the
Gilroy Chamber of Commerce and unite in doing all they can
to help build up the
community in which they have made their success.