A pioneer butchery with an 80-years history
Meaning Uncle Peter in Italian, this family business was founded in 1935 to be a butcher
shop. Grandfather Vincenzo started the business after he was refused immigration to
the United States, instead of drowning his sorrows he moved to Cisternino to open this
shop. Since then it has passed from generation to generation.
In the 1990s butcher shops in the region started to suffer when supermarkets began selling lower quality meat at a much lower price than what they could offer. At this time, Vincenzo’s son Peter has been running the shop for several decades and decided to innovate. They would continue the tradition as a butcher shop but in the evening become a rotisserie where customers could buy meat and they would cook it for them to eat outside in the evening. This guaranteed the family another source of revenue but more importantly featured the exceptional quality of the meat they were selling showing customers that while their price was higher it was worth the additional cost.
This idea caught on with other shops and now it is common to see people eating out in the tiny alleyways of Cisternino on warm summer evenings. The shop remains a family business and you can also find the grandson, also named Vincenzo, and in the shop or the curing rooms as the Zio Pietro also makes its own salumi.
Experience olive oil and artichoke production
Zio Pietro is also known as Uncle Peter and we were very fortunate that they were
making salami when we arrived because normally they are closed but they allowed us in
for a tour.
This was another great story of how a family business has changed over the years. While it was founded in 1935 by Grandfather Vincenzo and had been a successful butcher shop, it was struggling in the 1990s when supermarkets began selling meat at very cheap prices. Instead of complaining they decided to diversify and became a rotisserie in the evening to customers who were willing to eat outside.
Today we visited the grandson, Vincenzo who showed us all of the cured meats they make in the shop and even though it was only 10am, he was a great host and offered us wine from the barrel. We were able to try various cuts of meat and visit the curing rooms where we could see how they make salumi. We were both inspired by the hard work of this family and on another trip we’d love to come back and eat outside at night with the locals.