John Zagaria

A butcher at heart, John was taught to cut meat at an early age, 9 to be exact. After school and on weekends, John worked alongside his father Rocco at his butcher shop. It was there that he learned to cut meat, initially only being allowed to trim bones, he quickly got the hand of the trade and was finally able to wear the white coat with the red collar. "Only the real butchers were allowed to wear these coats".

In the years to come he learned the art of curing meats. In the beginning he learned the 'old school' recipes his uncle Carmine had, but he wanted to take them to another level. Experimenting with new products, new recipes and new techniques. It was then that he started dreaming of his own store. In 1999 he made the decision to go out on his own. Construction began on what would become Salumificio Dolce Lucano.

John studied at Iowa State University and George Brown College to further enhance his knowledge on curing meat. Taking what he learned from his father and uncle along with his studies he started making his own versions of the basic recipes he already knew.

In the years to come the product line grew from 10 items to 23 and is still growing.

"Experimenting with new products is exciting. It is like an artist looking at a fresh blank canvas... We get feedback from our clients who come in looking for something new. When we get the right feedback, another product is added to our list. After all, it is our faithful clients that keep us going". It is that fundamental ideology that has brought Dolce Lucano to where it is today, serving some of the best restaurants in Toronto, and working closely with their award winning chefs.

Today at our 6000 square foot facility, we are constantly going through changes. New products, family meetings over a glass of wine, or sitting down with people and talking about life. There is always something going on at Dolce Lucano. Come in, sit at 'our table' and enjoy a sampling of our salumi. We are a family business and treat our clients as family. After all, if our products are not good enough to feed our family, they are not good enough to feed yours.

At heart John is still the little boy who loved to work with his hands and try new things...he just does it with bigger machinery and a wealth of knowledge.