President & Owner
Chef and owner Bill Miner set out to create hand crafted artisanal salumi with time-tested old-world processes, so he planned and launched il porcellino salumi in 2015 out of the desire for his artisanal charcuterie to be made and sold in a retail store in Denver, CO.
Only the best will do
Bill believes that the best products come from sustainably raised animals and premium ingredients, and has worked hard to build il porcellino salumi around his beliefs. The company has developed relationships with farmers, ranchers, and distributors that they trust. This dedication has created a line of award-winning products that il porcellino salumi is proud to stand behind.
Bill's upbringing planted the business's seeds before he even knew he'd be a chef. He grew up in small-town Ohio, eating fresh vegetables from his family's garden and visiting local farms and orchards. These experiences sparked his curiosity about how food is grown, raised, and consumed.
The journey begins
It didn't take long for Bill to find himself in a restaurant kitchen. He honed his skills at some of the most influential restaurants in Colorado and graduated at the top of his class from the Art Institute of Colorado's culinary program. Over his 20 years of cooking, Bill continued to push his knowledge as a chef and butcher. He became dedicated to his passion for cured meats and taught himself the craft of charcuterie.
Recipes for Bresaola, Berkeley Ham, and Mortadella were some of the first developed. Family and friends, who were the initial test subjects, expressed strong words of encouragement. With this positive feedback, Bill wrote a business plan and secured finances. The plans were in place for il porcellino salumi to open as Denver's first retail salumeria, delicatessen, and whole animal butcher shop.
The small deli and salumeria received many early praises upon opening. Denver's Best New Deli, Top 10 New Restaurant, and Best New Sandwich shop were among the accolades. However, charcuterie remained the basis and focus of the business. Every sandwich and dish that was recognized featured the cured meats made in-house.
il porcellino salumi's whole animal butchery program allowed the company to showcase its charcuterie in a light that Denver had never seen before. In late 2015, they started dry curing salami with locally and sustainably raised heritage breed pigs processed in-house. By the spring of 2016, il porcellino salumi was selling salami at the Boulder County Farmers Markets. And boy, did it sell!! Demand grew immensely, and so did the reputation of il porcellino salumi for making artisanal charcuterie.
The company quickly gathered Good Food Awards and Charcuterie Masters Grand Champion status in 2018 & 2020. il porcellino salumi found itself as a leader in the industry, which has become the company's standard. It was now time to get the award-winning cured meat into the mouths of as many people as possible. But to do it, Bill needed to open a USDA Wholesale Processing Facility.
Cured with altitude
The idea of opening a USDA wholesale facility had always been part of the plan, and the opportunity arose in mid-2017 about taking over a small USDA approved facility in the Roaring Fork Valley. The opportunity was clear, and the timing was right despite the facility being 3 hours from Denver.
In April 2018, il porcellino salumi received its Grant of Inspection and took over space in the USDA wholesale facility. The company started with 800 square feet of production, drying & packaging space where two employees at the facility produced and packaged 400 pounds of salami a week. il porcellino salumi rolled out its first product line of dry salami soon thereafter and sales exploded, suddenly il porcellino salumi products shipped around the country.
Phil is in the house
In the summer of 2018, the company hired Phil House as the wholesale Operations Manager. Phil was a longtime Aspen chef and a gigantic fan of all things cured and fermented. He took the reins, streamlined the production process, and helped grow the product line. It became clear that the company needed more space, so they expanded in the facility by adding another, larger dry cure room, more fermentation rooms, shipping and packaging areas as the business continued to blossom. The additional space allowed il porcellino salumi to produce 2000 pounds of dry-cured salami each week.
In 2020 it became clear that they still couldn't meet demand, so they bought the entire USDA wholesale facility. The build-out of the additional space has commenced, and in 2021 the business will be able to dramatically increase its production yet again.
No growing pains
As the company continues to grow, the core of the business model never changed. Bill and his team are focused on working with small, family farms that raise heritage breed animals sustainably. The company has established itself on products that customers can trust, and that will never change.
Ian Niedwiedz now runs the deli and salumeria on Tennyson Street as its Culinary Director. Ian has taken the whole animal butchery and charcuterie program to new heights. He continues to push himself and the team to create the best sausage, charcuterie, and sandwiches in Denver. Ian proudly leads the R & D of new, creative, and delicious products, and in April of 2020, Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri featured the deli.
The future is bright
Looking ahead into the future, Bill and the team hope to open more retail locations in Denver and a second much larger wholesale facility. The company will continue to work with small family farms that focus on animal health and wellness. It takes beautiful animals raised sustainably to make our handcrafted, artisanal products. It also takes a team of professional employees who are genuinely vested in the company's vision. il porcellino salumi is blessed to have a fantastic team, excellent partnerships, and a dedicated customer base that we love.