On a summer night in 1899, John Volpi arrives in America from Milan, Italy, bringing with him little more than a craft and an idea — an idea to bring the centuries-old tradition of dry-curing meats across the ocean to the American midwest. Over four generations later, his family continues to carry on his traditions, hand-making all Volpi products using the same methods and recipes that John did over 100 years ago.
Only 3 Years after he arrives in America, John Volpi opens his first store in the St. Louis neighborhood on The Hill.
There, he first creates cacciatore — dried artisan salami small enough to fit into the pockets of the local clay miners.
He dries his meat using the same method he’d learned in Italy:
Opening and shutting windows to control the temperature and humidity of the air. Back then he didn’t have the modern convenience of electricity or refrigeration — he simply had to know the process so well he could literally feel it in the air.
John recruits his fourteen-year-old nephew, Armando Pasetti, from Italy. Armando travels by boat to his new home in America and lives upstairs from the shop to learn the business just as his uncle had: from the bottom-up.
John passes the business to Armando who begins planning to make his mark. Back in the 50s, if you wanted prosciutto, Sopressata, bresaola, or salami at your family party, you had to visit Armando at the Volpi store.
All that planning pays off and in 1980 Armando brings Volpi Foods national. He enlists his daughter, Lorenza, to help out. Just like her father, the family business is her calling and she dives right into learning the curing process first-hand.
In 2002, exactly 100 years after John Volpi opened the storefront, Lorenza takes over the business.
She continues to refine her great-uncle’s craft — keeping true to the techniques and recipes John first brought from Italy.
Today, we’re proud to say that we’re still family-owned and operated. And our home remains on The Hill, where we’ve been serving generations of meat lovers since 1902. When you’re in our neighborhood, come by and say hello!
We believe the best food starts at the source, from farmers we trust and hogs always Raised Responsibly™ because delicious food doesn’t need to be complicated. We always have cured meat in our home — making it easy to top a pizza for a gourmet weekend dinner or enjoy on-the-go with our Roltini Singles. And hey, if you want to eat it straight out of the fridge, we wouldn’t blame you. No matter what, the result is always the same: crave-able, delicious, melt-in-your-mouth goodness.