Merchant Case Study: Emporio Rulli

As the most authentic Italian pastry shop in the United States, Emporio Rulli has no problem drawing customers. But with the shop’s out-of-the-way location in Larkspur, California, expanding its reach wasn’t feasible. So, the Rulli team decided to sign up for Airmart’s premium plan in order to bring their world-famous pastries to more of the Bay Area.

The Emporio Rulli pastry shop story

italian pastry shop

It all began on a trip to Milan with his grandparents. After visiting the beautiful caffès of Italy, young San Francisco-born Gary Rulli was determined to import the pasticceria (pastry shop) experience.

With years of experience working in North Beach pastry shops and an apprenticeship in Italy behind him, Rulli succeeded in recreating the Italian pastry shop experience in the States when he and his wife, Jeannie opened Emporio Rulli in 1988.

Since then, Emporio Rulli has opened locations in the San Francisco International Airport and Union Square, and a spin-off restaurant called Ristobar at 2300 Chestnut Street in the Marina District. (The airport and Union Square locations have since closed).

Gary is the only Italian American who has been inducted into AMPI, Accademia Maestri Pasticceria Italiana (Italian Pastry Masters Academy).

Over 30 years later, Gary remains dedicated to maintaining authenticity at his shop. “If they don’t make it in Italy, I don’t make it here,” he proclaimed.

A worldwide panettone phenomenon

san francisco panettone
Milanese Panettone

Emporio Rulli is best known for panettone, a Milanese Christmas bread, which they ship worldwide. Last holiday season, the New York Times featured the shop as one of the top places to buy panettone.

As for day-to-day orders, the bakery mainly serves Larkspur locals and regulars on the weekdays. During the weekends, customers from Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and north of the city, as well as bike riders on their way to Phoenix Lake, flock to the renowned patisserie.

Customers usually discover Emporio Rulli through word-of-mouth marketing and Instagram posts that Gary often makes himself.

The best Italian pastry shop, delivered

Italian pastry shop San Francisco delivery
Emporio Rulli Airmart storefront

Larkspur itself isn’t a destination by any means, so the Rulli team wants to start bringing their famous Italian pastries to the people. There are strong Italian communities in North Beach of San Francisco and among the tech workers of Silicon Valley that Gary is determined to reach.

With Airmart’s help, the iconic Italian pasticceria experience will soon be delivered to San Francisco and maybe one day, Silicon Valley.

Emporio Rulli recently launched a shop on Airmart that offers pickup at the Larkspur location and will be taking delivery orders for the San Francisco area.

Airmart Premium e-commerce plan

As part of the Airmart Premium e-commerce package, Emporio Rulli has received a custom comprehensive marketing plan designed to help more of the Bay Area discover the best Italian pastry shop.

With Airmart Premium, Emporio Rulli has taken advantage of the following services:

Localized SEO

Italian pastry shop San Francisco
Emporio Rulli Airmart shop

The Airmart team has identified keywords that Emporio Rulli can use in their Airmart shop description and title to attract more Google visitors. These keywords are frequently searched terms in the San Francisco Bay Area that are easy to rank for on the first Google results page.

Google Business Listing & Yelp Evaluation

Airmart’s marketing team has reviewed the Google Business listings and Yelp pages for Emporio Rulli and created a checklist of tasks that will help optimize them and increase traffic to the Airmart shop.

Product Photography

Italian pastry shop SF bombolini

Airmart’s product photographer took a trip to the Larkspur shop to take stunning photos of Emporio Rulli’s pastries.

Facebook Group Marketing

Airmart will introduce Emporio Rulli to a prominent Bay Area food Facebook group where other merchants have previously made hundreds of sales.


The Airmart Premium plan includes a feature on the Airmart livestream. Live selling, or promoting products over livestream, is a great way to introduce your online shop and engage with the community.


The Airmart team will pitch Emporio Rulli’s story to various Bay Area food and Italian culture publications to get the pastry shop featured in the press.

Grow your food business with Airmart. Get in touch today to discuss our services.