Campania Patriarch Dies

Soccorso Pierino "Peter" Cilio

Dec. 23, 1929 – Dec. 16, 2008

Peter Cilio, a renowned entrepreneur, artist and iconic fixture
of the gardening industry, died Dec. 16 at his home in Blue
Bell, PA after a year-long battle with cancer. He was 78.

Mr. Cilio founded Peter’s Home and Garden Center in
Quakertown, Pa., in the early 1970s. The retailer pioneered
the importing of Italian terra cotta to the states after its
founder, born in Ponte Romito, Italy, saw there was no
resource for the handmade terra cotta pottery his garden so

After 11 years of supplying rare and beautiful garden accessories thru retail, the demand for those very special
handmade terra cotta pots from Southern Italy began to reach far beyond the local region. Peter and his son
Anthony decided to venture into wholesale. To build the line, Peter’s Home and Garden Center created a
variety of cast stone products with original and authentic hand-applied patinas. In 1988, Mr. Cilio’s son, Joseph,
joined the company full time and over the next decade, the trio slowly and steadily developed a company that
stood for quality products, top-notch customer service and a unique mix of cast stone items with Mr. Cilio’s
hand applied patinas. The small wholesaler began to evolve into a full design and production company. So was
born Campania Imports. As only Peter would have it, his family slowly began to surround him, and in the late
‘90s, his daughter Nina Cilio Reelick and oldest son Peter C. Cilio joined the company to help continue to guide
its growth.

Mr. Cilio retired from his wholesale business in 2000 when he sold Campania International to a Philadelphia
company that continues to operate the business today. At the same time, at the age of 70, Mr. Cilio returned
full time to focus his energies on his retail store. Until this last year, Mr. Cilio continued at his intense pace,
seven days a week, to develop his specialty retail store with European style garden accents, plants, casual
furniture and much more. The retail division of Peter’s Home and Garden Center continues to be operated by
the Cilio family today and remains a staple of the Philadelphia garden community.

Mr. Cilio’s legacy continues even now through his family. All four of his children remain closely tied to
gardening industry. Peter C. is a vice president at Campania International; Anthony Cilio is Vice President of
Product Development at Alfresco Home; Joseph Cilio is founder of Alfresco Home; and Nina Cilio Reelick is
married to Eugene Reelick, owner of Hollandia Nurseries. Peter is also survived by seven grandchildren.

The Cilio family would like to thank everyone in the closely knit and caring garden and casual industries who
were such an important part of Mr. Cilio’s life. Customers, vendors, friends and lunch guests – everyone was
welcome at Peter’s table, and in his garden. We know today that he is looking out over all of us, content and
peaceful in the knowledge that what he has really achieved, his greatest legacy, is the love of the garden he
helped instill in the hearts of the dear friends he has come to know over the past 36 years.