Bringing nothing more than craft and vision, John Volpi arrived in America from Milan, Italy with the idea to serve amazing European cured meats he was accustomed to, to his new American customers. In 1902, Volpi bought a building, with partner Gino Pasetti, in the famous St Louis neighborhood called "The Hill" where he first produced cacciatore for the nearby clay miners. He used local ingredients and suppliers, and unorthodox techniques like, opening and closing doors to control humid.
Volpi married Gino's sister, Maria Pasetti in 1905. Maria kept busy as a midwife while the men made and sold dried, aged meats.
The response to Mr Volpi's exquisite craftsmanship was overwhelming. Soon thereafter, Volpi added delicacies such as prosciutto, guanciale, pancetta, and coppa to his lineup of products.
As demand for Volpi grew, John recruited his teenage nephew, Armando Pasetti, also from Italy. Armando learned everything from John, and soon became a master. John Volpi died in 1957, and Armando took over. In 1980, Armando enlisted his daughter, Lorenza, into the business to run the manufacturing plant. Volpi was now a national brand and so Lorenza, already strong with culinary expertise, chose to obtain an MBA from Wash U in St Louis.
100 years after the business start, in 2002, Armando passed the torch to Lorenza. Volpi foods still relies on local producers and suppliers and still dries its meats by adjusting the airflows.
All the farmers who supply meats are within 350 miles of Volpi's St Louis productions facilities. The Volpi process means no over-processing of the meat. John Volpi believed that by obtaining the freshest, local product, the pH is perfect of natural fermentation.
There are three production facilities named Uno, Due, Tre. They cure salami and other deli products in Uno, prosciutto and specialty items in Due, and Primo and Prep products in Tre.
Vopli's production standards are the highest in the industry. They are the only producer of dry cured meats to achieve the coveted SQF 2000 level 3 certification — a rating that ensures customers and families are enjoying the tastiest, safest, and most wholesome meat imaginable.
The Volpi production philosophy is simple - There are no shortcuts, no cheating the process. Volpi imports spices from their native habitats throughout the world and let our meats age naturally, whether it takes four weeks, four months, or four years.
Here's an article from 2012, from Feast Magazine, that describes Volpi's production process in more detail.
Volpi Foods to this day is a major contributor to the city of St. Louis maintaining John Volpi's culture of responsibility, ensuring that all employees, as well as livestock and the environment, are treated with respect.
Reading the reviews on the Internet about Volpi Meats proves it's an institution of salumeria. The local residents of St Louis "Hill" area are treated with a Volpi storefront where you can get the meats freshly sliced. According to the locals - there's none better.
For example, here's a review from St Louis Resident, Beth C, as she describes growing up with Volpi.
"So, full disclaimer, as a child I would name off Salami and Butter sandwiches as one of my favorite foods. That's Volpi Salami and straight off the counter- real butter- on grandpa's fresh baked Italian bread."
"If you go to Volpi on a Saturday, you will get to the door, and see that the place is packed to the gills. Don't be tempted to leave and go buy the packaged business from the store. Wait. This is the place I was turned onto Volpi Sopressata. It's amazing and mild. Try it!! Now, go home and make yourself a salami and butter sandwich!"
Volpi also has a huge amount of cooking videos show you how to maximize their products. Like this one below. A video that shows how to make insane pizza bread.
In fact, the videos have not stopped with recipes. Ren & Stimpy Co-Creater, Bob Camp, was hired by Volpi to create "Into The Meat Cave" PSA cartoons. This first one is about the evils of smoked meats over heavenly cured meats. There are more on YouTube.
All of Volpi's products - in their glory.