In founding a company, we sometimes find a community. When Giovanni Volpi, an immigrant with expertise in dry-curing Italian meat, began his company in 1902, he found a community of other Italian immigrants in search of familiar eating experiences. That community has now grown to include a wide array of American consumers, and Volpi’s family values live on through Giovanni’s great niece, Lorenza Pasetti, who is the current President.
“My father, Armando Pasetti, arrived in the 1930s, and, with his uncle Giovanni, grew the small business in the Italian neighborhood known as ‘The Hill’ in St. Louis, Missouri,” said Lorenza. “My dad ran the company from the 1950s to 2002, taking it from a neighborhood staple into markets like Chicago, Illinois, and New York. I entered the business in the 1980s and learned the craft directly from him.”
As Lorenza told me, continuous improvement was not only the foundation for the business, but for the Volpi and Pasetti families as well. This vision allowed the company to continue growing, and, over the years, Volpi has successfully introduced new and exciting products, all integrating original recipes from Giovanni himself.
“We believe that leading with safety, quality, and heritage will always yield us fruitful partnerships, both with customers and with our employees. We remain a family owned and operated business, and our values are evident in everything we do,” Lorenza continued. “Our brand has built trust with consumers over years of focus, and we do not take that responsibility lightly. We constantly seek out new ways to reach additional consumers and convey our shared values.”
One such effort includes Volpi’s launch of the Raised Responsibly™ promise, with which it sources meat from trusted farm partners that put animal welfare first. This sourcing initiative, coupled with a move to eco-friendly packaging in 2020, illustrates Volpi’s dedication to continuous improvement.
With diversity and inclusion serving as another central topic for companies at this time, Volpi is already far ahead of the curve, with a women-led executive team serving as a natural guide to Volpi’s long-term evolution.
“Being a woman, I like to think that I listen to women. Most women just need an opportunity and a bit of encouragement. Why anyone would not provide both is unfathomable to me,” Lorenza told me, and I cannot agree more. “Our team’s perspective as women permeates everything from the brand look to the products we innovate. We have first-hand knowledge of how the female shopper thinks, and we put that into practice every day in order to satisfy our customers.”
Convenience is top of mind for many women, and, as such, Volpi’s innovations are concentrated on providing its items in convenient packages while always delivering on exceptional flavor.
As a woman still in the early years of my career in this industry, stories such as these inspire, ignite, and motivate. I hope they do the same for you.