ST. LOUIS — Volpi Foods is a St. Louis institution, known for its cured meats. In recent years, the company has expanded its reach in grocery stores around the country and has opened multiple manufacturing and production facilities in the St. Louis area.
Volpi Foods is still family owned and operated after 120 years in business, with Lorenza Pasetti, the great niece of Volpi’s founder, serving as CEO since 2002.
The company was founded by John Volpi in 1902, a few years after his arrival to the United States in 1899 from Milan. Pasetti said her great uncle started “making salamis and sausages in a friend’s kitchen,” and started selling them to the “bustling immigrant population.” When Volpi’s kitchen operation started to grow in popularity, he opened the first Volpi-owned location in The Hill neighborhood.
In 1938, John Volpi decided he needed help running the store, so he recruited his 14-year-old nephew, Armando Pasetti, who was Lorenza’s father. He traveled by boat from Italy and lived upstairs from the shop, later with his wife, so he could learn the ins and outs of the business from his uncle.
Armando Pasetti took control of the shop in 1957, and in 1980, he enlisted his daughter Lorenza to help. Beginning at age 14, she wrapped salami, worked in the store and handled some paperwork.
Since Volpi first opened the shop, four generations have successfully kept the original grocery store running and have expanded and transformed the business into the sizable manufacturing and production operation it is today.
Read the full story on the St. Louis Business Journal website.