This article originally ran in the May 2013 issue of Food Manufacturing.
Tucked away in Pascoag, R.I., Daniele, Inc. is using innovative technology to extend shelf-life, ensure food safety and expand the reach of its sausage and cured meat products to a growing base of consumers.
Perhaps an unlikely find in quiet, small-town Rhode Island, Daniele, Inc. has been making sausages in the region for nearly 40 years. But its roots stretch much farther.
The company, now a third-generation family-owned company, can trace its roots to World War II-era Italy, where Croatian refugee Stefano Dukcevich, along with his wife Carolina, began making and selling sausages. The pair grew their little business, eventually opening several sausage-making factories and training their son, Vlado, in the business.
In the mid-1970s, Vlado came to the U.S. to introduce real prosciutto to the American consumer. Though prosciutto had long existed in the U.S., the taste was inauthentic — it “tastes like a baked ham,” according to Michael DeCesare, Daniele Foods’ Food Safety Director. Vlado aimed to change all that.
And Vlado’s gamble paid off. While at the helm of Daniele, Inc., he successfully grew the business and eventually opened a second processing facility to keep up with growing demand for his authentic sausage products.
Growth and expansion
Vlado eventually passed along operation of the company to his sons, Stefano and Davide Dukcevich. The brothers have continued the business’ upward trajectory, opening a third processing facility in 2004. That facility is now operating at capacity, and the company is building an expansion, expected to be completed next year.
Operating three facilities means keeping an eye on logistics. Each of the company’s facilities has a focused area of products it manufactures. The oldest facility cures and packages traditional cured meats like prosciutto, American-style prosciutto (for consumers looking for a less traditional flavor), mortadella, dry-cured capocollo, pancetta and bresaola.