While convenience is the gas gunning eating and snacking into the future, traditional craftsmanship will always be the wheels on which our industry rides on. And, in the driver’s seat is none other than Columbus Craft Meats, a company that isn’t just taking advantage of the growing expanse of premium craft products transforming the deli into a destination for shoppers to find the very best cured meats, premium cheeses, and specialty products. It’s also one of the industry leaders speeding up the process.
“Craftsmanship and quality are being sought after by shoppers looking for transparency in the products they eat, and with that transparency, customers continue to fall in love with the hand-crafted salami Columbus Craft Meats has been producing for the last century,” Evan Inada, Customer Marketing Manager, shared with me. “There is an artistry in how time and patience is used as a tool to transform lean hand-trimmed pork into amazing salami cured with California red wine, garlic, and a proprietary blend of spices tied to regional recipes in Italy. Loyal customers of Columbus have appreciated this artistry for over 100 years and have helped lead the progression of this West Coast sensation to a nationally recognized leader in the salame market.”
Today, Columbus Craft Meats’ legacy as a category leader is largely thanks to Founder Enrico Parducci’s norcini (master butcher) status and willingness to showcase his salami curing methods in Italy and beyond. Parducci traveled across Italy showing locals his knack for making slow-cured salami that could be enjoyed for months on end. He then moved to San Francisco in the early 1900s, utilizing the iconic Bay Area fog to his advantage in fine-tuning his craft.
While Parducci’s traditional recipes are still used today by Columbus Craft Meats, that doesn’t mean the company hasn’t embraced the change necessary to stay front and center in consumers’ shopping carts. This change has included Columbus pivoting to ensure it is not only a salami provider, but a salami and pairing resource to any and all.
“Once a shopper chooses what salami and cheese is going to be on their charcuterie board, everything else really just falls into place naturally with a simple understanding of flavors and pairings. We share our knowledge of flavor pairings with our shoppers to allow for a simple and enjoyable experience when making charcuterie with friends and family,” said Evan. “With pairing suggestions on our grab-and-go packaging, social media outlets, and our featured charcuterie module on our columbuscraftmeats.com website, we try to make shopping for the perfect charcuterie experience fun for both the novice and the experts.”
In that same vein, Evan made sure to note, as our conversation wrapped up, that no matter how large Columbus grows, its founders’ original principles, ingredients, and processes never change.
“Every salami that we hang to dry age in our facility today lives up to the artisan standards we’ve had since 1917,” Evan concluded.
And to that, I could only nod enthusiastically—I mean, how else does one respond to a mic drop?