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Our Heritage

The Roma Story
Lasting Tradition

Founded in a small warehouse in Toronto over 35 years ago, Roma Moulding has become one of the world’s leading producers of luxury picture frame moulding. Roma blends old-world craftsmanship with cutting-edge designs. Made in Italy by master artisans who work with only the finest woods, Roma’s frames are truly outstanding in both quality and design

Humble Beginnings

The Roma story spans both generations and continents, but it started in a tiny photo studio where John Gareri and his brother-in-law, Nino Talotta worked part-time, framing photographs at night to support their young families. The frames in the shop were utilitarian, at best; made from poor-quality materials and lacking anything resembling design or visual interest.


John began to pay attention to the frames available in Toronto stores and found that they too, were largely devoid of character. Most of the frames he found seemed like an afterthought, constructed simply to protect a photo rather than elevating or accentuating the art inside.

A moulding cutting machine
Returning to His Roots

Taking inspiration from the country he grew up in, John returned to Italy in search of artisans that were capable of crafting picture frames as exquisite and beautiful as the artwork they contained.


Wandering along narrow cobblestone streets, he discovered skilled craftsmen committed to keeping the artisanal heritage of hand-made mouldings alive. 


John watched as their rough and calloused hands worked their way masterfully across the natural wood surfaces. Each hand movement and stroke carefully considered, to craft a product that told a story passed down from generation to generation. 

 

Moulding being gold-leafed
Roma Begins

He was among the first to recognize the value of these hand-made mouldings to the North American market and began to forge partnerships with artisans and workshops across Italy and was ready to launch Roma Moulding in September of 1984. 


Roma began as a tiny operation with John involved in all aspects of the business. He was never focused on becoming the biggest supplier; he simply wanted to be the best.


“I would go out all day and take orders. Then I’d return at night to build the frames. The next day I’d go deliver all the frames and take more orders. It was my way of getting an edge on the competition. Speed and craftsmanship with a personal touch.”

A stack of mouldings
Leveling Up

Roma Moulding continued to grow in both size and recognition as a manufacturer committed to crafting picture frame mouldings of the highest quality. Offering exceptional service with a steadfast focus on quality and design, the company enjoyed steady growth throughout Canada and began to expand heavily into the US market. 


Initially, this expansion began with the opening of a second distribution center in California to serve our partners on the west coast. Shortly thereafter, to keep pace with ever-increasing demand, distribution centers were opened in New Jersey and Georgia to offer service to our partners located in the eastern and southern states. 

Men around a table
Future Facing

John Gareri’s son, Tony grew up with Roma and the framing business, accompanying his father on business trips and tagging along to trade shows. He officially joined the company in 1996 and was appointed CEO at Roma Moulding in 1999. 


Roma branched out and continued to produce moulding that pushed the envelope, releasing industry-changing designs like the Tabacchino collection in 2005. A series of expansions into the US and several awards propelled Roma to the top of their industry.


Tony Gareri and a moulding specialist
Global Inspiration

The Roma team frequently travels the globe in search of the patterns, textures, and feelings that will inspire their next great moulding.


Rather than chasing fads, they make it their mission to identify trends and stay ahead of them, keeping Roma Moulding on the cutting edge of design.


The goal is always to create frames that are works of art in their own right, so when they’re combined with the right piece of artwork, a masterpiece is born.

An Italian city
It's All About the Team

In the early 2000s, the team embarked on a mission to restart the company as a place that puts a premium on happiness and blends the lines between work and play; where talented people would flock and produce the best work they are capable of.


The team began to layer a culture strategy on top of the foundations already in place; developing a clear vision, and Core Values that continue to guide the company into the future.


Together, they implemented a progressive culture strategy that prioritizes people, happiness and inspiration and it’s paid off. Today, Roma has high employee retention, errors are at an all-time low, and most importantly, our team members are thrilled to be here.

The Roma team