Leave a Ball'
He has dressed
baseball and hockey greats, including Wayne Gretzky. In
a room off to the side, the walls are hung with autographed
pictures of athletes - ranging from N.Y. Yankees manager
Joe Torre, Chicago Blackhawks forward Eddie Olczyk and San
Francisco Giants manager Dusty Baker. A glass cabinet is
crammed with autographed baseballs - including some used
in the World Series - and a pair of dusty hockey skates.
"The guys come in, and they leave a ball," said Vacca. "We
give them a good value for the price," noted Domenico Vacca,
35, Giovanni's son and head of the company's sales and purchasing
Now, the venerable
Montreal firm has won a $553,000 contract to supply the
RCMP with 3,025 scarlet tunics. Most of them are standard
S, M, L and XL sizes, but 250 are made to order for hard-to-fit
Standard tunics will be delivered by Jan. 31, with the others
following during the year. The company has added five people
to its staff of 45 to complete the order.
Although the family-run business has been supplying the
RCMP with tunics for the past 15 years, this is the biggest
order yet, Vacca said. "That's about 6,000 metres of red
serge," said Domenico Vacca, adding that the red cloth is
bought from the RCMP. The
RCMP is trying to cut costs by standardizing the red tunic
and farming out the tailoring, Inspector
officer in charge of the force's uniform-and-equipment program,
said in a phone interview from Ottawa.
Since 1873, the RCMP has had different styles of tunics
for non-commissioned and commissioned officers. Woods said
adopting a standardized version of the commissioned officer's
tunic for use by all officers will make alterations easier.
Maker of Formal Wear
Born in San
Pietro Infine, in southern Italy, Giovanni Vacca moved to
Canada in 1948. After working for several Montreal clothing
companies he started up his own business in 1965. The bulk
of the company's business comes from making formal wear,
he said, adding that the Syd Silver chain of tuxedo-rental
stores has been the company's biggest buyer for 22 years.
"We do about 40 per cent of formal wear made all over Canada,"
he said. Daughter Marisa Vacca, 40, and her husband Joe
Maiorano, run the Da Vinci Pants division across the street,
which was spun off several years ago. Daughter Paulina Vacca,
38, works in the office at Giovanni. Although he wouldn't
disclose financial results for the private company, Giovanni
Vacca anticipates revenue of more than $2.5 million in 2000.