Wooden, hand-made ravioli roller, used to press pockets into the pasta dough for filling to be added. It was used at the La Tosca Food Processing Company in its Bennetts Lane Melbourne and Brunswick factories in the 1940s and 1950s.

La Tosca was founded by Nello and Bruna Borghesi in 1947 at 12 Bennett Lane, Melbourne. They had migrated to Melbourne from Italy in 1929. They produced tomato concentrate, tuna, asparagus, peppers and a bolognaise sauce under the label of 'Sugodoro' ('golden sauce'). The tomato paste was the most popular product and was predominantly sold to Italian delis and restaurants to make the base of sauces. The same label style was used from 1947-52.The vegetables were supplied by Victoria Market and tomatoes from Werribee market gardens.

In 1952 the production of the canned vegetable products stopped and only the tomato sauce line of Sugodoro continued. This was due to the competition of large companies such as Heinz and Campbells, as the family could never hope to meet the mass production abilities of these large corporations. In 1957/58 the family moved into handmade fresh pasta production, and grew into frozen pasta products in the 1960s. In 1972 La Tosca relocated to larger premises in Victoria Street Brunswick, managed by son Lio Borghesi (until his retirement) and his children.

Physical Description

Wood roller with squares all along & around roller. White label on one handle with inscription 'PROPERTY OF, LA TOSCA PASTA P/L, PH: (03) 9387 2677'


Statement of Historical Significance:
This collection provides a fascinating insight into the growth of small migrant businesses in post World War II Melbourne. The collection includes product labels from the 1940s to the 2000s, and pasta and sauce-making equipment from the early days of the business. It also documents the story of the Borghesi family from leaving Italy to settling in Melbourne and the evolution of a family business over three generations and how that business changed as it grew and technology changed.

More Information