Sometimes things don’t go according to plan. Sometimes they’re not supposed to.
From a young age, Giacomo did his part, working alongside his father, mother and siblings, learning the ins and outs of the family business.
It wasn’t for him. By the time he was in his early twenties, he was ready for something else: to be a firefighter.
At the time, the pool of firefighters looking for jobs was oversaturated, so his job hunt expanded slowly, from New York, to the Northeast, to the Mid-Atlantic, and finally, when he was ready to give up, all the way as far as High Point, North Carolina.
The High Point Fire Department hired him. Newly married and with a baby on the way, Giacomo left everything he knew and came down south to a place he’d been before.
Picture this: an Italian guy from Long Island, with a name no one could pronounce, and an accent no one could understand, trying to make it in High Point, North Carolina, a place he’d never been to, let alone heard of.
A year into his new job, he realized that the grass just wasn’t greener. He was homesick, but not so much for Long Island itself.
Instead, he missed the flavors, smells, and memories of a childhood full of authentic Italian cooking. The dishes he missed – quality salamis and capicola, baccalà, a good sopressata, and homemade pasta, to start – weren’t exactly common in the area.
The Piedmont wasn't ready for what it had coming.
In 1999, Giacomo and his wife Laura scraped together everything they had, loaned a used deli slicer from his father’s deli on Long Island and started a small market in Greensboro: Giacomo’s Italian Market.
At first it was just the two of them, spending long nights in a cramped back room preparing food for the next day. It wasn’t easy. Some days, Giacomo would work 18 hour shifts with the fire department before heading straight to the market to make sausage for the next day.
Luckily, the market caught on and became a full-time passion. No more firefighting. Greensboro loved Giacomo’s and, years later, still does.
In 2009, we finally outgrew that little market and moved to real-deal USDA-inspected production facility in Elon, North Carolina and launched our retail brand – The San Giuseppe Salami Co., named for the town outside of Naples where Giacomo’s mother grew up.
Today, our products can be found in restaurants, markets, breweries, wineries, supermarkets and more across North Carolina and beyond. Every year, we ship products as far away as California and as close as our own neighborhood.
Our original market is still there, too. Come visit us in Greensboro!