Salume Beddu is tucked into a strip mall with other businesses that couldn’t be any more different than a salumeria – a title company, a beauty products distributor and an investment office. The unassuming storefront in Lindenwood Park looks like many other retail businesses in any American town.
But stepping inside the tiny, cozy shop with its rustic farmhouse table and high-quality artisanal cured meats is like stumbling upon a hidden gem. The salumeria may be small, but the flavors Mark Sanfilippo and his team pack into its hand-crafted products such as salami, finocchiona and nduja are big. For the past few years, Salume Beddu has been building buzz and a loyal fanbase for its high-quality meats. It has garnered numerous accolades, from local press such as being named the #1 charcuterie in Feast magazine’s 2016 50 Awards to Forbes, which crowned it the best salami in the country. Another reason we’re so proud to carry their products at select Schnucks stores!
Sanfilippo started Salume Beddu in 2007 after moving back home from Los Angeles. He had been working at Mozza, the popular Italian restaurant owned by celebrity chefs Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton. He started as a prep cook and worked his way up, eventually heading up the cured meat program. At the time, the Missouri native discovered that Batali was sourcing the pork from none other than the Show-Me-State.
“Batali and his restaurant group consider it some of the best in the country and at the time he was using it for all of his restaurants,” Sanfilippo says, noting that the small farmers here have heritage pigs that are raised on a natural diet and without antibiotics, resulting in juicy and flavorful meat. He then started curing meats at his apartment, hanging them in the back closet.
But the passion for cured meats began even earlier than that. Before moving to L.A. he had lived in Germany where he met transfer students from Italy who would bring him cured meats from their families, some of the most “amazing” meats he ever had.
“I never knew it could be that fantastic and it awoke something in me. I’ve been on the hunt for good cured meat since then.”
Luckily for people in St. Louis on a similar hunt, he moved back home to start Salume Beddu, eventually adding the retail shop. He began networking at Farmers Markets so he could find the best sources for heritage pork. Over the past few years Salume Beddu has fallen behind demand, but a new production space opened recently that has boosted capacity sixfold.
Salume Beddu is only open for lunch, offering Italian-centric sandwiches such as Speck with Gruyère and Preserved Lemons on local bread. But Saturday is when Sanfilippo unleashes his culinary creativity and fans eagerly anticipate what he’s dreamed up for the day. Dishes such as a 12-hour simmered pork sugo poured over polenta are the kind of dishes that “were they part of a regular dinner menu, would catapult Salume Beddu into the highest rank of St. Louis dining,” wrote Ian Froeb in his STL 100 Restaurant list. While he has entertained the idea of expanding beyond lunch; for now, Sanfilippo is focused on making more salami to meet the demand of their hungry fans.