Meet Local Icon, Giorgio Linguanti


When Giorgio Linguanto moved to Australia in 2004, he chose Melbourne’s north to lay his roots, starting a business and raising a family with his wife and four daughters.

A remarkable story of determination, resilience and community, Giorgio’s business, That’s Amore Cheese, now employs more than 120 people and exports its products to more than 10 countries.

I moved from Sicily to Australia in 2004. I was 34 years old, and I didn’t speak any English. I’ll never forget how intimidating the experience was; leaving the comfort and familiarity of Italy, my home, and migrating to a country on the other side of the world.

My uncle was living here, so I stayed with him at first. I was working in factories, one being a cheese factory, and it was there that I developed a passion for the craft. By 2008 I had moved to the north and decided to do something that changed my life forever: I started renting a factory to make my own cheese.

I chose the name ‘That’s Amore’ after the famous 1953 Dean Martin song. It had a nice connection between English and Italian because Australians think the song originates from the English language and Italians would argue that it’s from Italy.

Within a few years, the business was growing so we acquired another factory, La Latteria Mozzarella Laboratory. Cheese is made here daily, and the site is used as a testing ground, allowing me to experiment with new products. We then opened new premises in Thomastown — a deli cafe that’s open seven days a week.

One of my secrets to success has always been that I select produce carefully and work with the best farms in Australia, which produce excellent quality cheese and milk. I would say it’s worked pretty well so far.

In 2016, we approached the export market and are now supplying cheese to more than 10 countries. We’ve also launched a sister brand, Cannoleria by That’s Amore, which specialises in traditional ricotta cannoli. These days, the business employs over 120 people, bringing in more than $25 million every year, and is constantly growing.

I owe a lot to my community for this success. Since moving to Melbourne’s north 18 years ago, I’ve not only been able to grow my business, but also get married and raise four daughters. In a way, I think our story embodies the spirit of the area; it’s multicultural with a strong continental influence, and it’s a humble community that has a lot of opportunity for growth.

I do think there needs to be something that defines the north further and makes it more of a destination. I would love to see more activities offered in the area, like markets such as Preston Market or South Melbourne market.

When I found out about New Epping at a local council meeting, I thought it was a great way to bring more people into the area for business, retail and entertainment. To make the whole city a more engaging and vibrant place to live and work, we need more than just new homes. New Epping will put more people in jobs and that’s good.

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