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People to Know and Places to Go

Mike Pantaleo
Reinhart Foodservice


He’s “Pinto” to most in the business. His path, like his manner, is straightforward: from 1989 to 2012 working in sales and management with Sysco, then two years with Appert’s and now Reinhart. That’s just the resume, and like any ingredients label it doesn’t reveal the true flavor. And Pinto is a flavorful character. To others he is, in a word, energetic. When asked for his one word, Pinto, though says, “training.” 

“I’ve always had a passion for developing people. Sales rep or strong safety, it doesn’t matter.” Oh yeah, a football reference, as Pinto also coaches at St. Anthony Village High School. 

Pinto’s start in restaurants came at an early age. “I started at 12 washing dishes in my dad’s restaurant, then years later owned the Acme Cafe in Uptown followed by some years as GM at J.D. Hoyts and Loon Cafe.”

As for his “outside” activities over the past 20 years, he: became an avid runner, cyclist and swimmer; completed several marathons and triathlons, the peak of which includes four Iron Mans; volunteers as strength and conditioning coach for St. Anthony Village High School; and volunteers as a Sunday morning spinning class (classic rock!) instructor at Shoreview Community Center.

So what’s exciting about the business today? “Developing our customers' businesses as a whole. It is necessarily so much more than selling food now. As we provide complete business management service to customers; we grow inasmuch as we help our customers grow. It’s exciting!” Pinto is also certified as a Serv Safe instructor and a server trainer. He adds, “Our seven person Business Operations Team, with our technology applications, is a complete consultancy for our customers.”

When and how do you recharge from your work and volunteering? “Weekend time with my 6-year-old niece fills me up!”


Chuck Knuth
General Parts

Toby Tournament

I got to know Chuck through the Toby Tournament committee and found another dedicated pro like many I’ve enjoyed meeting this year.

In 1996 Chuck began as a road warrior for a year with Schwan’s, followed by Midwest Foodservice, Ventura Foods and Foodservice Connection. By 2006 he’d grown to become a school foodservice specialist. As the food supplier market consolidated, he moved to the equipment side with General Parts and it was a solid bet. Since then Chuck has applied his passion to deliver solid value to institutional clients.

His excitement for discovering efficiencies while maintaining or improving quality for his clients is impressive. After a quick tutorial on water filtration and just some of its variables it is clear his customers are well served by his enthusiasm. And he’s apparently omnipresent for his customers. “I spend half my time in the office and the rest being on client sites inspecting roof units and such,” he said.

How do you relax?  “JMS Hockey when I’m able is a lot of fun. And road biking gets me outdoors for lots of fresh air and scenery.”

Favorite restaurants: Tavern 4 and 5 in Eden Prairie for fine dining, and Jersey Mike’s for quick service. 

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