If you eat meat and live in Australia you’ve most likely eaten the award-winning fare created by Bertocchi, the nation’s largest continental smallgoods manufacturer.
A CLASSIC MIGRANT SUCCESS STORY
The founder of Bertocchi Smallgoods, Modesto Bertocchi, came to Australia from Sassalbo, Tuscany in 1948, sailing from Genoa with just one suitcase and a vision to create a successful life in his new homeland. He met his wife Ursula, the daughter of German Jews who’d fled Europe before the Holocaust, at a Melbourne dancehall.
Though such cross-cultural pairings were unusual at the time, the couple thrived, setting up a café in Lygon St, Carlton just before the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games and installing a black-and-white television to encourage customers to come in and watch all the sporting action. Catering to everyone from early morning coffee buyers to evening diners, the café provided the foundation that allowed Modesto, a butcher by trade, to establish what grew to be a network of 60 butcher shops across Melbourne.
After recognising there was a growing appetite for quality European smallgoods in Australia, Modesto purchased 12 acres of land in Thomastown, north of Melbourne, and launched Bertocchi Smallgoods in 1972. Four decades on, the site has expanded to 100 acres, housing 12 manufacturing plants and a national distribution complex. The company also operates a network of distribution centres and a large fleet of trucks that ferry vast amounts of ham, bacon, salami, mortadella, prosciutto, pancetta and frankfurts to delis and supermarkets across the nation, where the red and green Bertocchi logo is now omnipresent.