Maestro Sausage Company and Pontrelli & Laricchia
Chances are, if you've lived in Southern California long enough, you've probably tried Maestro Sausage without even knowing it. And so have your parents. And probably their parents too.
Since being founded in the 1920s, Maestro Sausage has been served at beloved restaurants of all varieties; from the corner pizzeria, to critically acclaimed Italian restaurants, to the neighborhood-staple Mexican restaurants around LA, OC, Southern California, Las Vegas, and beyond.
The name “Maestro” is a tribute to the company founder, Domenico Pontrelli, who was known as the Maestro for being a fun, eccentric character, who would often pretend he was a band leader and “teach” friends and family about the better things in life amid a simple time in early Los Angeles. The company today strives to bring the spirit of “Maestro” to life in every aspect of the business.
Our company was founded by Domenico Pontrelli after he immigrated to the United States from a small town in the Puglia region of Southern Italy. In the 1920’s he opened his first retail Italian meat market in Los Angeles. Out of his store, the Eastside Market, named after the nearby Eastside Brewery, he manufactured and sold his specialty Italian sausages on the premises.
Late 1920s – Early 1930s
Eastside Market had outgrown its original facility and was moved to a larger location on Alpine Street in Downtown Los Angeles near what is now Chinatown. This allowed Domenico to add a full array of deli meats and cheeses to his product line.
In 1954, founder Domenico Pontrelli retired and control of the company passed to his son, Sam Pontrelli, and his son-in-law, Gaetano Laricchia. With big ideas in mind, the two partners were determined to change the direction of the company and focus on what they did best; manufacturing sausage. They immediately acquired a Federal Grant of Inspection that enabled them to manufacture and distribute their Italian Sausage on the wholesale level. In short time, this new sausage division, called Pontrelli & Laricchia, was even larger than Eastside Market.
In 1974, the company sold Eastside Market and moved the manufacturing division to a new facility on Riverside Drive in the Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles.
In 1987, Sam Pontrelli and Gaetano Laricchia retired, leaving control of the company to Sam Pontrelli’s sons, Dominic and Vito Pontrelli. Under their leadership, backed by decades of sausage-making experience, the company continues to manufacture the same premium quality Italian sausages that Domenico did in the ‘20s, in addition to several new varieties that have since been created in his name.
We at Maestro Sausage Company are proud of our customer base which is made up of hundreds of neighborhood delis, restaurants, food trucks, and pizzerias, ranging from single family owned units to multi-unit chains to sporting arenas like Dodger Stadium. In addition, the company services several national chain restaurants through a network of national distributors under the “MAESTRO”, “PONTRELLI” and “PAPA VITO’S” brand labels.
Currently, sausages manufactured by Maestro Sausage Company include a variety of Italian and other Specialty Sausages ranging from traditional favorites like Bratwurst to unique recipes like our Al Pastor Sausage that is debuting as the exclusive Dodger Sausage at Dodger Stadium in 2019.
Social and Environmental Responsibility
Maestro Sausage Company purchases all pork shoulders used in the manufacturing of its sausages from domestic farmers and processors. Only premium-quality, natural, hormone-free pork picnics (shoulders) are used in the production of the Company’s sausages, and all ingredients are produced and purchased from vendors in the USA that are committed to the humane treatment and handling of animals.
All company employees are members of the United Food and Commercial Worker’s Union A.F.L.C.I.O. Local 770.