Meet the working Berwyn fireman behind Mario's Marinara

ByJayme Nicholas Localish logo
Monday, November 13, 2023
Meet the working Berwyn fireman behind Mario's Marinara
Mario's Marinara started with a firehouse-recipe sauce inspired by a rich, Italian heritage of cooking.

BERWYN, Ill. -- How many firefighters have their own brand of marinara sauce?

Mario Manfredini, the "King of Marinara" in the Berwyn, firehouse, does. Mario is a proud Italian American firefighter who serves his community while also serving up delicious Italian food and several varieties of marinara sauce. He got his start with help from his family, in particular his mom and nonna. Mario watched how they prepared delicious meals for aunts, uncles and cousins who came together each Sunday to enjoy each others company and a delicious meal. Thats where he learned the secret of making savory marina sauce featuring fresh ingredients.

Since one third of a firefighters life is spent with co-workers, someone has to cook. When Mario witnessed a fellow firefighter opening a bottle of pasta sauce, he deadpanned, "I cant let you do that." He proceeded to make the marinara sauce from scratch, served generously on a plate of steaming pasta, and the rest is history. Mario became the primary Berwyn, Illinois firehouse chef. When his sauce was so well received by his co-workers, Mario began making marinara at charity events. The results were the same rave reviews. The next step was bottling and branding his delicious marinara.

One of Marios childhood buddies, another Italian American firefighter, Kris Coniglio, recalls how they narrowly escaped a collapsed roof fighting a fire together. With all their inside jokes and kidding aside they know its an inherently dangerous job. Kris talks about the positive impact of returning to the station after a tough day to gather around the table for camaraderie and one of Marios delicious meals. Sauce for the soul!

To learn more about Mario or to purchase some of his sauces go to