"Our family has been making dry-cured meat products for as far back as we can remember"
In our ancestral home town of Sombor, in north-western Serbia, communities have a great passion for enjoying good food and sharing generous hospitality. Since the 16th century, many European rulers have richly influenced this land, and the people have combined and perfected the introduced tastes and methods of food preparation to be the very best. Our regional craft of producing real dry-cured meats has remained unchanged for well over 300 years.
In more recent history, grandpa Lazar’s first love was producing naturally cured-meats and salami in the traditional way at his village home of Ridjica, near Sombor – a passion inherited from his own father – great grandfather Deda Bracika. Together, through the long winter months, they would expertly hand-process raw meats to slowly guide and transform them into the most delicious foods for the year ahead. This old-time skill and wisdom was then shared with our father, Dragolsav, from a very early age.
As a young boy during the 1960′s, Dragoslav (Draza) was keenly involved in all aspects of traditional home butchery and became dedicated to the art of curing meats naturally. Apprenticing under the expert Deda Laza, Draza learnt his craft well. After gaining extensive commercial experience, he went on to achieve great success as a restaurateur, head chef, a master butcher and operated his own traditional meat delicatessen in his hometown in Serbia.
The 1980′s and 90′s saw Drazas two sons, Pedja and Gradimir, growing up with this rich family heritage. With many fond memories as small boys, helping their father and grandfather in the mystical ways of producing delicious cured-meats and enjoying the spirited rustic community gatherings, they saw great potential for this age-old craft in their increasingly modern world.
Gradimir, already skilled in home butchery from an early age, became a trained chef through a top culinary school. Older brother Pedja had by now moved to New Zealand and, with a passion for real food and an eye for good business, set his sights on another goal – to unite his family and combine their expertise in order to start production here. In 2009 the whole family started in business at their new home in Auckland. Success swiftly followed and 2011 saw a welcome expansion into larger commercial premises.