Vincent and Rosa, his wife, live a simple life in small village in the south of Italy. A baker by trade, Vincent has built a business that sustains the young couple. But when la Cosa Nostra shows up and demands protection money from local businesses, Vincent determines to flee his homeland rather than submit to the gangsters. Together the young couple takes the giant step across the sea, arriving at last in the burgeoning metropolis of St. Louis. And so begins an epic journey of multiple generations of one family that exemplifies the immigrant experience in pursuit of the American dream.
As the family grows, Anthony (Big Tony) LeoMorte assumes the de facto role as family patriarch. His drive, ambition and cunning elevate him from the son of a bread baker to the pinnacle of his Italian neighborhood. His only motivation is his obsession with the success and protection of his family. His mantra, Family is everything! permeates his counsel to his children; but it also serves the impetus for falling on the other side of the law.