Location: St. Louis, MO
Like many Italian Americans in St. Louis, Lorenza Pasetti grew up in the family's business on the Hill. During her childhood, Pasetti learned the business and art of dry cured meats from her father, who took over for the founder of Volpi Foods, Giovanni Volpi.
By the age of 14, Pasetti was balancing school and assisting at the Volpi store on the Hill, which is still in operation today.
Volpi Foods is a Midwestern specialty foods company that specializes in crafting charcuterie and dry-cured meats from its family's authentic 120-year-old recipes. “Volpi Foods’ mission is to make people's lives better through quality specialty food,” the company said. “This mission is supported through a pasture-to-package approach that focuses on better-quality foods from better-sourced ingredients, crafted by best-in-class artisans and conveniently packaged in better-for-the-Earth materials.”
Pasetti continued to work in the store until she left to attend college at the University of Michigan, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in 1982. She later earned her MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to her formal education, Pasetti also dedicated herself to the study of dry-cured meats, which earned her the title of Master Salumiere — one of the few women in the world to earn the designation.
Pasetti succeeded her father as CEO in 2002. In the last few decades, Volpi Foods has expanded operational capacity through an additional four production plants, grown the number of employees from 12 to over 220 and established a national footprint for the company.
“Volpi Foods’ vision is to be the leading national specialty meats brand,” the company said. “We plan to do this by continuing a buildout of premium, artisan-crafted charcuterie that will meet our consumers’ evolving needs. We plan to execute this by putting an emphasis on convenience … creating an expansion of our snacking lineup to provide our consumers with quick and easy options for charcuterie.”
Pasetti's accomplishments have been recognized by the Specialty Food Association, which awarded her the Business Leadership Award in 2020. She was also listed as one of St. Louis Business Journal's Most Influential Women in 2020. She is a 2021 Specialty Food Association Hall of Fame inductee.
Pasetti also helped Volpi Foods achieve success as a 2022 Progressive Grocer Impact Award winner and a 2022 Top St. Louis Workplace. In addition to these accolades, she has spoken at the University of Missouri's Animal Science Department, Washington University in St. Louis’ Olin Business School classes and the Good Food Association.
Under Pasetti’s leadership, in 2022, Volpi donated more than one million pounds of product to those in need and diverted more than 52 tons of plastic from landfills with its eco-pack packaging.
“I believe that leaders today are tasked with setting the corporate culture in a positive way, promoting a positive work environment and aligning the organization around strategic goals,” Pasetti said.
In 2022, Lorenza resolved to spend more time exploring her interests outside of the business. Her love for travel and the outdoors led her to hike Mont Blanc!