“I fell in love with the story of my family’s business. It was a story I wanted to tell.” —Davide Dukcevich, co-owner, Daniele, Inc.
We were fortunate to meet Davide and his products recently, and were impressed by how straight-outta-Italy the prosciutto and mortadella tasted. It’s no wonder, given the history of the family business: His grandparents, Croatian refugees who landed in northern Italy after WWII, made sausages there for decades before their son, Davide’s father, brought the business to Rhode Island in 1977. Today, Davide and his brother, Stefano, are running things, overseeing the production of traditionally dry-cured, regionally sourced meats from prosciutto and pancetta to salami and sopressata. Here, Davide tells us a little more.
What’s your job title?
I’m a third-generation prosciutto salesman: the co-owner of Daniele, Inc., an Italian specialty meats business.
What led you to your line of work?
I decided to join the family business after working as a journalist for Forbes magazine. I liked writing articles of how companies came to fruition and ended up falling in love with the story of my own family’s business. It was a story I wanted to tell.
I gave a short TEDx talk about my journey last year:
What is your favorite part of your job? Favorite product that you make?
It’s thrilling to have a customer take joy in my charcuterie. It’s a shared experience, a communion. My favorite product often changes, but right now I’m crazy about our natural-casing mortadella with pistachios.
We agree that mortadella is wonderful! How do your products speak to the culinary landscape of Rhode Island?
We launched a local line of salumi last year, where we had New England farmers raise hogs for us. We then had students from the Rhode Island School of Design make the labels. We brought the local line to farmers markets in Boston, Newport, and Providence last year, and they were all well received.
Here’s a short video on the topic:
Name a dish or drink that a visitor to Rhode Island cannot miss.
Portuguese littlenecks from O’Dinis in East Providence.
Eat Your World focuses a lot on a destination’s historic, traditional foods. What do you think is the future of food & drink in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island’s future is food. We have Johnson & Wales, one of the world’s biggest culinary schools, in Providence. Travel & Leisure magazine said we have the best restaurants in America. We have the best-attended farmers markets I’ve ever seen. We have a revolutionary nonprofit distributor of local food called Farm Fresh RI. Rhode Island is Culinary Valley.
On EYW, we ask users to share short food memories related to travel, a favorite meal, growing up—anything. Can you share a brief food memory with our readers?
My brother fell in love with a Basque woman more than a decade ago and eventually managed to persuade her to marry him and move to Rhode Island from Bilbao. To make her feel more at home, he spent months during their courtship studying dry-cured Iberian chorizo. When she finally arrived to the U.S., my brother had a fresh-sliced dish of chorizo greeting her in the kitchen. They are still together and going strong. And the chorizo she inspired has become one of our top-selling—and most delicious—items!
You can find Daniele, Inc.’s products at a wide variety of vendors, including Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, World Market, GoodEggs.com, Roche Bros., Costco, and Amazon.com.