His brother Paul worked as a waiter at one of the restaurants of the Plaza Hotel. He helped Hector get a job there as a cook.
In the 1920s Hector moved to Cleveland, where he opened his own Italian restaurant and also sold take-home versions of his pasta and sauces. Paul became a maitre d’hotel at the Plaza.
One night, A&P head John Hartford came to the Plaza for spaghetti. Paul Boiardi prepared him some based on Hector’s recipe, telling Hartford that his brother was trying to get a national line of Italian foods produced.
Hartford offered to help—and soon, the Chef Boyardee brand introduced Italian food to millions in the 1940s.