From sharing a glass of wine and some proscuitto to starting a company that sells cured meats all over the world, Olli Salumeria founders Oliviero (Olli) Colmignoli and Charles (Chip) Vosmik have had a busy few years.
Colmignoli, born and raised in Rome, had been working at the U.S. branch of the salumi manufacturer founded by his grandfather, but when it came to what he ate himself, he always insisted on the stuff straight from Italy.
“We use the same recipes in the same sort of rooms equipped with the same Italian equipment. We even have Italians running things over here,” Colmignoli is quoted as saying on Olli’s website. “But there’s one big difference in the States. The hams. We can’t get the hams over here like the ones we have in Italy.”
Thankfully for salumi lovers everywhere though, his good friend and now partner Vosmik had the answer—bringing good, pasture raised pork to the U.S. salumi industry.
Just one week after that fateful discussion Vosmik bought three Berkshire hams from Emile De Felice’s Caw Caw Creek Farm, and upon seeing Colmignoli’s reaction to the beautiful meat, bought sixty more. Fast forward a year and a half later to when the duo’s first prosciutto was complete, and you have the real makings of the future company.
“We decided to have a party at my house to mark the occasion of the unveiling of our prosciutto. Our guests went crazy. They loved the nutty aroma, mahogany color and depth of flavor,” Vosmik says on the company’s website. “Even guests who are not exactly foodies were asking where they could buy more of this fabulous prosciutto.”
The rest was history, as they say. The two men incorporated Olli Salumeria in March of 2010, selling its first coppa just six months later. Now working with retail giants like Whole Foods, Costco, Wegmans, and Kroger, it doesn't look like the company’s success will be stopping any time soon.
Olli recently built a new 80,000-square-foot plant in Oceanside, CA with plans to up production from 36,000 pounds of salami a week to eventually 500,000 pounds. And with this much growth in just four years time, it’s not hard to believe Olli will be able to accomplish any goal they set out for.