Armando Pasetti, the former owner of Volpi, was friends w/ my parents. He still works at Volpi almost every day, but in 2002, Armando’s daughter, Lorenza, took over ownership and running the company. The retail store is still located in the same spot on “The Hill” (the Italian neighborhood in St. Louis), even though you can now find Volpi products in most St. Louis grocery stores and in many food stores across the country. My parents would go to Volpi almost every Saturday to buy their meat products and other Italian food that was, and still is, available in the store. Me, my brother and sister would go along w/ them because we were too young to stay at home alone. Armando would often invite us into the back so he could chat w/ my parents. He would sometimes fix us kids a sandwich made w/ Volpi salumi and Italian bread from the neighboring bakery. I have fond memories of those delicious sandwiches!
I hadn’t been to Volpi in over 20 years, so I decided to take a trip there to say hello to Armando and get a tour of one of the manufacturing facilities that is adjacent to the store. I was also hoping to get invited to the back for a sandwich just like old times! As we were touring the factory, Armando told me they now have 3 manufacturing facilities in St. Louis and about a year ago they launched a new product line called Un Mondo, which offers salamis from around the world. They also use heritage pork, such as Berkshire, from local farms in their products.
Well, after the tour, my sandwich wish was granted!! I also took home some Fontina cheese and some of the Un Mondo salamis to sample (I bought one that is laced w/ herbes des Provence and another laced w/ porcini mushrooms, and Armando gave me the Un Mondo fuet, which is a Catalan style salami). Thanks Armando… it was great seeing you after all these years and it was a pleasure to meet Lorenza too!
Here are a few pictures from my visit:
The finished product
The meat counter
Inside the factory
Filling the casings
Another drying room
Yet another drying room
Mortadella being finished
Sorting the casings
John Volpi & Gino Pasetti
Armando Pasetti in the dark shirt – pre World War Two
Old photo of the factory
If you like charcuterie, you’ll love Volpi Salumeria!