In business, when time-honored traditions blend with new technologies, innovative products and fresh ideas, consumers win and companies thrive. That’s the secret behind the success of Volpi Foods Inc., which has dramatically modernized its processes and diversified its offerings while staying true to the values that have sustained it for more than a century.
Established in St. Louis in 1902, Volpi is now headed by Lorenza Pasetti, great-niece of company founder Giovanni Volpi and the third generation of her family to produce authentic Italian meat products from distinctive Old World recipes.
“Like my father and great uncles before me, I proudly call myself a salumiere, steadfastly committed to making premium Italian-style dry-cured meats and specialty foods,” says Lorenza. “When I joined my father, Armando, in the business as an adult, it was with a deep understanding of the company’s role in our lives and the importance of doing only my best work for our loyal customers and valued staff. Now, I’ve had the pleasure of watching my own children grow up in the company and become a part of it as adults, and I feel even more profoundly the legacy that has passed from one generation to the next for more than a century.”
Careful adherence to tradition is evident in the production of Volpi salami – which celebrity chef and California restaurateur Michael Chiarello has called “the best domestic artisan salami” – as well as a wide range of other lovingly-prepared products. The company uses all natural pork grown locally in the Midwest, coupling these rich raw materials with an unhurried process that air dries the meat and concentrates its flavors. Each ham is carefully inspected and hand-trimmed before it is rubbed and salted to ensure an even cure.
This commitment to perfection has catapulted Volpi into the global marketplace. The company does business in Canada, Mexico and Asia while serving delis, supermarkets and restaurants throughout the United States. Along the way, Volpi has garnered praise from top chefs across the country. Chef Chiarello has worked with the company to develop a line of artisan salami that he has marketed under his own brand, NapaStyle, for over a dozen years; Chef Lidia Bastianich has featured the company on her program “Lidia’s Italy in America”; and Food Network stars Jamie and Bobby Deen visited Volpi and included them in a companion book to their show, “Road Tasted.”
In 2015, Volpi partnered with the well-known and growing Chicagoland retailer Mariano’s, which launched the company’s Salumi Artiginiali in its stores across the Chicago area. The sliced products are conveniently packaged and ready to pair with favorite wines, artisan breads and quality cheeses for an Old-World treat with New-World appeal.
“The history of Volpi Foods is deeply rooted in Italy, overflowing with its culture, heritage and flavors,” Lorenza says. “We stay true to the traditional processes perfected over centuries and our techniques are infused with our immigrant passion for originality and innovation. We utilize the best of the Old World and add the inventiveness of the New.”