About Us

Our Rice-A-Roni® and Pasta Roni® products have a long and rich history, dating back to the late 1890s in Italy. Read on to learn more!

TeaserPic We are proud of the rich heritage behind Rice-A-Roni and Pasta Roni. Learn about the family who started it all and our long association with cable cars and the city of San Francisco. Trace the growth of our product line, from the original Rice-A-Roni flavor introduced in 1958 to our most recent products.

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Rice-A-Roni and the San Francisco Cable Cars

San Francisco and cable cars are an important part of Rice-A-Roni's heritage

Cable Car

Just mention Rice-A-Roni and many people instantly visualize a steep hill in San Francisco with a cable car peering over its summit. This is because San Francisco and cable cars have been an important part of Rice-A-Roni's heritage and have been featured elements in Rice-A-Roni print and television advertising.

Every visitor to San Francisco wants to ride the world famous cable cars. And they are an exciting trip… up and down some of the city’s steepest hills at a steady 9.5 mph. Each car is operated by a conductor and brakeman. They work together on opposite ends of the car using bells to communicate with each other.

Cable CarAndrew Hallidie, a Scottish wire cable manufacturer, introduced the system over 120 years ago in an attempt to improve on the city's method of horse-drawn transportation. When the world's first Cable Car traveled down Nob Hill in the summer of 1873, the invention was an immediate hit. Not only was this new system safer, but it opened up many new areas for home building previously thought unsuitable due to their steep hillside locations. Prior to 1906, the system had 600 cars rolling on 22 cable lines over 110 miles of track. The Great Quake caused extensive damage to the system; only 3 of the original lines remain in service today.

Over 130 years of Cable Car history is on display at the Cable Car Museum on Mason Street in San Francisco. Not only does the museum preserve history but it is also the powerhouse for the system. Four cables: 25 miles of churning metal pass through the building where 500-horsepower motors bring the whole system to life. Be sure to visit the museum at 1201 Mason for a behind-the-scenes look.

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