Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Pepperoni tops it all at Swiss American/The Record
Lathrop firm weekly produces 600,000 pounds of pizza toppings
LATHROP - Pepperoni is the passion at Swiss American Sausage Co. in Lathrop, where the firm's 125 employees weekly produce about 600,000 pounds of salami, linguica, beef toppings and bulk sausage for pizza restaurants nationwide.
Its signature Classic-Style Cupping Pepperoni combines "spicy West Coast flavor and perfect cupping," the company boasts.
To achieve that requires the latest in modern production techniques as well as some of "the same techniques that have been used by dry sausage makers for centuries," said Edward M. Finnegan, the plant's manager.
"Perfect cupping is when the ends of the pepperoni curl into a perfect cup shape and crisp up while baking in the pizza oven," he explained. "This process is the end result of using the proper combination of casings, spices, meats and fermentation processes."
Swiss American was founded in San Francisco as a specialty salami factory, supplying a variety of salami to delis and groceries under the Marconi brand.
In the 1970s, the company expanded its product line and shifted focus to the growing airline, deli, pizzeria and frozen pizza markets. By 1980, the pizza industry was its primary market.
Today, it provides pepperoni and sausage to a number of chain and independent restaurant operators.
Its products can be found at Mountain Mike's and Pizza Hut, among others.
Contact reporter Reed Fujii at (209) 546-8253 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Name: Swiss American
Sausage Co., 251 D'Arcy
• History: Opened in San Francisco in 1930, moved to Lathrop in 1999, acquired by Hormel Foods Corp. in 2006.
• Employees: 125 full time
• Material and commodity costs are a major concern and must be continuously watched to ensure the products meet the restaurant customers' cost and quality expectations.
• Maintaining growth requires continual effort and innovation to bring new and unusual products that will find their way onto pizzeria menus.
• Keeping up with consumer restaurant dining trends.