Founded: August 20, 1925
Employees: About 15
Polidori Sausage keeps it real and In the (fourth-generation) family
It all started over 88 years ago; and that same, heirloom, Polidori Sausage recipe lives on in a big way.
“In 1925, our great-grandmother Ana Polidori launched Polidori sausage when she and her husband Rocco opened Polidori’s Grocery and Meat Market in North Denver,” says Melodie Polidori Harris, vice president of Polidori Sausage.
“Imagine her donning that white butcher jacket and cutting up pork,” says Harris. “In her spare time, she would cook up her Italian sausage. The aroma of that sausage would permeate throughout the entire store and everyone wanted it.”
Four generations later, the tradition continues. Harris says, “Eighty-eight years later and we still make the sausage the same way she did.”
To what does she attribute the only family-owned sausage companies’ success and longevity? “In large part it is due to the consistency of the product we make. It is competitively priced, and people in Colorado like to do business with ma and pa types of companies.”
Polidori’s was awarded Best Italian Sausage in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 by Andiamo magazine, and Harris says the savory flavor is unbeatable, “We make a fine grind. When you bite into our sausage, you taste the flavor of cracked fennel. It is juicy and not overly hot. It is succulent and kind of melts in your mouth.”
For those wondering about the health aspects of their sausage, Polidori’s products continue to be free of MSG, preservatives, filler, gluten, soy, nitrates and artificial coloring. “Our sausage is lower in fat than most,” says Harris. “We use boneless lean meat from the shoulder of the pig. Our grandmother chose to only use that part because it is so lean.”
Their product line has grown to include chorizo, many flavors and sizes of breakfast sausage, bratwurst and meatballs. They also make proprietary sausage recipes for a number of restaurants. Polidori Sausage is sold at King Soopers and Spinelli Markets, as well as through several local and national food service distributors.
Though they are steeped in heritage and history, Polidori’s continues to upgrade equipment and operating procedures in an effort to continue producing the highest quality sausage products. Polidori operates in full compliance with the SSOP/HACCP programs as outlined by the USDA.
“There will always be someone who has more automation, but I don’t really care about that,” says Harris. “I care about what we make and I care about our customers. When I go to bed I don’t think about the competition. I think about our quality product and excellent customer service. That’s why we’re still in business 88 years later.”
Challenges: “The biggest challenge we face is making sure we don’t grow faster than we can handle,” says Harris. “There are times when we have had to turn business away to ensure we make a quality product.”
Opportunities: “There are so many opportunities with retail and food service as they continue to want to support local,’ says Harris. “We also see opportunities shipping outside of the state as restaurants are demanding products that are clean, MSG and gluten free.”
Needs: Eventually Polidori Sausage will need a larger space. They are currently located in what was Bill Coors carriage house on his property. “It is difficult because there is so much history in our neighborhood, and that is part of who we are,” says Harris. “But we are outgrowing where we are currently.”