Maestri d’Italia Inc. has, since its beginnings in 2014, been providing authentic Italian deli meats in the pre-sliced grab and go formats that American consumers crave. Combining genuine imported products—from prosciutto di Parma to Black Forest Shinken, Tuscan porchetta to Spanish chorizo—with easy to use minimalistic packaging, Maestri’s line has been steadily growing for almost five years.
Like the company, its Founder and President Athos Maestri pairs a forward-thinking approach with cured meat bona fides. The Parma-born, third-generation scion of a family of craft meat makers, Athos first saw the opportunity to offer a convenient, well-packaged, and expertly branded take on authentic Italian—and later pan-European—craft meats to U.S. shores.
“I have been working in this business since I graduated from college. After 20 years I decided to start Maestri d’Italia Inc.,” Athos explained to me. “The idea came to my mind after a trip to the USA in 2013: I was surprised to see in this market so many Authentic Italian deli meats. However, most of them were sold behind the counter. Very often the products were not displayed well—and were not sliced and served as they should be. It was also very hard to find a good imported deli meat available pre-sliced.”
Noticing a gap in the market, Athos decided to take his twenty years of experience and apply them to the burgeoning American craft food scene. By importing authentic and often DPO products into the U.S., and slicing them and presenting them in a convenient format, Maestri was able to flourish as U.S. consumers became increasingly infatuated with craft foods.
“Maestri d’Italia Inc was founded in Virginia in January 2014, with the mission of growing the category of Authentic Imported Italian deli meats in the USA, by offering a unique combination of authenticity—and high quality—and convenience. In fact our vision was to establish the first slicing and packaging facility in the USA dedicated to slicing high-quality imported deli meats,” Athos said. “We started with a line of Authentic Italian deli meats. Then, following the demand of our customers, we extended our range to other European specialties like the Iberico ham, chorizo from Spain, and authentic Black Forest ham from Germany. Today we have a wide assortment of the best European Deli meats, all freshly sliced in our facility in the USA.”
The company would, in April of 2018, relocate to a new state-of-the-art facility in Lakewood, New Jersey, furthering its commitment to Maestri’s four pillars—authenticity, craftmanship, genuineness, and convenience.
“Our pre-sliced trays are the result of high technology equipment and skilled employees that lays the slices by hand guaranteeing always the best quality, thin slices, well presented,” Athos noted. “Maestri in Italian means ‘masters.’ We used my last name as our company brand, as we like to be seen as the ‘masters of prosciutto,’ and more in general as the ‘masters of sliced imported meats.’ All our deli meats are made in Europe by small family-owned producers that are specialized in producing only their regional specialty. We are proud to say that, based on our market knowledge and experience, we are able to select the best European deli meat specialties available for the U.S.”
And, Athos told me, the Maestri line is well-positioned to expand, leveraging the company’s new facility’s production capacity to introduce new product offerings.
“As we continue to grow in our new state-of-the-art facility we are looking forward to expanding our product line with snack packs that pair our imported meat selections with traditional accompaniments, offering consumers delicious and convenient snack options,” Athos added.
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