James Jordano (Giacomo Giordano) first arrived in the US about 1888 from his hometown in Rivarolo Canavese, a small town above Torino in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy. It was Peter Pomatto who was the driving force to get the Giordano family to America and settled. Peter Pomatto's sister, Annetta, was married to Giacomo Giordano and expecting her first child, Peter.
James Jordano first worked laying rails through the farmlands in Goleta, and after two years had saved up enough money to bring over his wife and son, Peter. In 1889, Annetta and son Peter traveled with her brother John Pomatto to settle in Santa Barbara. Around the same time, one of James Jordano's four sisters, Angelina, came over to America with her husband, Antonio Pagliotti, also from Rivarolo Canavese.
When Annetta and son Peter arrived, James was splitting wood for one of the big ranches in Goleta. Soon after, James got a good position as the manager of the dairy on John Finley More's ranch in Goleta Valley. James Jordano would become one of the first of a long list of Italian immigrants who were to dominate the farming industry on the South Coast. James ended up working for the More Ranch for forty years. Later he would run his own ranch on Turnpike to raise walnuts, lemons and beans.
In 1891 on the ranch, Annetta gave birth to their only daughter, Josephine. Three years later the twin boys Dominic and John were born.
Peter was in second grade when his teacher changed the spelling of the name Giordano to Jordano. The teacher spelled out his name as she heard it--and made local history by transcribing the original Giordano family name to Jordano.
See Peter Jordano's Naturalization document here.
Family album circa 1904. Jordano family from left to right:
Peter, John, James, Frank, Dominic and Josephine.
At age ten, Peter Jordano began working in the grocery trade at Cornwall & Son, and then later, because he was good at math and figures and handling cash for the grocer. At fourteen, he added to his experience in running a retail operation working for his Aunt Margaret Pomatto Bosso Masasso
. She had a small grocery, bakery and restaurant at the old Bosso Hotel. When Peter was eighteen, he attended Santa Barbara Business College and worked "on assignment" at the Cornwall Grocery as bookkeeper. Gradually, all the brothers began working at Cornwall's. The brothers decided they should go into the grocery business themselves. By 1915 they had opened their first grocery store at 706 State Street near the corner at Ortega Street and named it Jordano Bros. Peter was 26, the twins were 21 and Frank at 16 was still in school.
The twins opened and ran the store while Peter continued to work at Cornwall's to help out with the finances. Frank continued his schooling at the business college and worked part-time at Corwall's. They needed $2500 start-up cash and were funded by small bank and relative loans.
They were well on their way to becoming the longest family-operated grocery business in Santa Barbara to this day.
Peter C. Jordano, Frank's son, is the current CEO of Jordano Corporation.
Peter Jordano (1888-1931)
John Jordano (1894-1956)
Frank Jordano (1898-1965)
Remembering Jordanos - Santa Barbara 1888-1988 by Erin Graffy de Garcia. 2004 Kieran Publishing Company, Santa Barbara, CA 93105.
Peter Jordano credit for the Jordano family photograph.
Jordan's, a Centura of rogress 1915-2015 100th Anniversary. Pacific Coast Business Times 2015.