The true measure of a successful man is not the extent of his wealth but the use to which he puts his riches; that is the real reflection of the inner person.
By this measure, Salt Lake food importer Frank Granato, who died this week at age 76, was a memorable success, not only as a businessman, but also as a human being.His support of local charities and community organizations was remarkable. This was not merely financial support, but a significant investment of time and effort as well. Although known as a hard worker, he always found time for community service.
Granato served on the board of directors of Catholic Community Services of Utah, Cottonwood Hospital, Camp Kostopulos, the Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Salvation Army. He was past president of the Utah Italian American Civic League. He was a generous backer of the Utah Symphony, the Utah Opera Company, Ballet West and Westminster College, among others.
In addition to being a patron of the arts, he loved sports and was a booster of University of Utah athletic programs and Little League baseball.
Granato was born in humble circumstances in Tooele County. He started in the food business at age 20 in the midst of the Great Depression, operating Growers Market before embarking on a one-man business, peddling olives, cheese and olive oil door to door from a small truck. He founded Frank Granato Importing Co. in 1947 and it eventually grew into a major wholesale food distributing firm doing millions of dollars of business a year.
A deeply religious man, Granato said he made a promise to God early in life to share any success with others less fortunate. He never forgot that promise nor his humble beginnings. He also was husband and father to a fine family.
Granato's life was one of those all-things-are-possible stories that reflect the American dream. Utah is a better place for many because of his legacy and generous example.