How a firefighter from Long Island started a salumeria in North Carolina.
After growing up surrounded by great food, the flavors of Italy, and a family-run restaurant business, Giacomo Santomauro wanted anything but to spend his adult career in the food business.
Instead, he wanted to be a New York firefighter.
Unfortunately, finding a job as one proved harder than he expected. After sending dozens of applications to fire departments all across the east coast, only the High Point, North Carolina Fire Department would bring him on.
Suddenly, Giacomo and his wife Laura were packing their bags and moving south, an unlikely move for a second-generation Italian-American with a Long Island accent. His fellow firemen couldn't even pronounce his name.
A year into his work with fire department, he realized that the grass wasn’t greener. He missed good food.
In High Point, the flavors and smells of an authentic Italian deli were hard to come by. The dishes he missed – things like quality salamis and capicola, baccalà, pasta e fagioli, and homemade pasta – were foreign.
So, in 1999, Giacomo and his wife Laura scraped together everything they had, drove a loaned deli slicer down from his father's deli on Long Island, and started a small market in neighboring Greensboro: Giacomo’s Italian Market.
At first it was basically just the two of them, spending long nights in a cramped kitchen preparing food for the next day. It wasn’t easy. In a lot of ways, the two h had to teach North Carolinian what they didn't know they were missing.
The first few years were hard. Sleepless nights and endless days ensued as the couple built the business from the ground up. Luckily, it caught on in a big way.
By the early 2000's, Giacomo's Italian Market had become a phenomenon with a cult following.
Recognizing an even broader need for high quality Italian meats and specialty products, Giacomo expanded his production into a real-deal USDA-inspected production facility in nearby Elon, North Carolina.
In 2009, he 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 the Carolinas, Mid-Atlantic and beyond. We've shipped thousands of salamis to every state in the country.
If you want a truly authentic experience, though, you'll have to stop by the market in Greensboro. After all these years, it's still there, preparing one-of-a-kind Italian specialties year-round.
The formula for our company is simple: the best, local ingredients possible paired with our own family recipes.
From our family to yours, buon appetito.