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In the beginning

In the early 1930's, on the island of Corsica, just off the coast of Northern Italy, my grandfather, Alessio Spinabelli was a hard working shoe cobbler. He made some of the finest leather boots for high ranking state officials. One day, as an acknowledgement of my grandfather's shoemaking talents, the Mayor, the Priest, and the Teacher of Ortiporio (the town in Corsica) invited Alessio to dinner at the Mayor's residence. The wine was good, the meal was fair, but the antipasto was "terrible!" as my grandfather boldly told all three men. Naturally, they all took offense and demanded to know how a shoemaker would know anything about the art of making salamis. Alessio being from Parma, Italy, the culinary capital of the fine art of dry-curing products, told these men, "Next fall, I will come and kill your three pigs with my own men, I will make and supervise all products, and by Easter you will be sampling real Salami and later, Prosciutto." So the challenge was made, and the three men which happened to be the most influential people in the town did their part of Alessio's request and he set to work creating his own Salamis and Prosciutto. Needless to say, the following Spring there was an entourage of people wanting to sample Alessio, the shoemaker's, culinary skills. The minute the Mayor, the Priest, and the Teacher tried my grandfather's products, they proclaimed he must open his own Salumificio. All three pitched in and one supplied the place, one supplied the license, and the Priest helped with finding the funds. And so, the Spinabelli tradition of making fine Italian specialty meats was born.

The story continues

During World War II, my grandfather and his family had to flee Corsica. The family was separated for a while, my grandfather and grandmother made it to Pittsburgh in 1949. They settled in the Strip District of Pittsburgh, and started working two to three jobs each and late at night, they would make sausage products to take to different restaurants during the day. Luckily, in 1954, my father, Luigi Spinabelli and Uncle, Lodovico, were able to come to Pittsburgh. The family continued making products and selling to various places. Luigi, was determined to make the family business work here in America and all together they created Parma Sausage Products, which was established in 1954 and Incorporated in 1962. Luigi had the vision and the willpower to work the long, hard hours to establish Parma Sausage in the culinary world.

Over Fifty years later

We continue to make our products as Alessio did in Corsica, with great pride knowing the taste test is still the most important way to keep people happy.

Thank you for all of your support and encouragement over the years from all of us at Parma Sausage!

Rina Edwards