After leaving his position as head chef at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, Boiardi opened Il Giardino d'Italia restaurant in 1924 at East 9th Street and Woodland Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. The idea for Chef Boyardee came about when restaurant customers began asking Boiardi for his spaghetti sauce, which he began to distribute in milk bottles. Four years later, in 1928, Boiardi opened a factory and moved production to Milton, Pennsylvania, where he could grow his own tomatoes and mushrooms. He decided to name his product "Boy-Ar-Dee" to help Americans pronounce his name correctly.
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