Davide Dukcevich of Daniele, Inc. is excited about the food industry in Rhode Island, and looking forward to taking a role in its expansion. “We are so fortunate to be in the gourmet food business at a time when appreciation for quality food is trending up, and we are riding this wonderful tidal wave. There are so many great things happening in the food landscape here in Rhode Island. There are great new restaurants, young, risk-taking new chefs. There’s a certain zeitgeist here, and I love that we are a part of it, and helping to shine a light on this amazing culinary culture we have here in Rhode Island.”
In early 2012, Davide was thinking about how Daniele could contribute to the locavore movement. They (including his brother Stefano, his partner at Daniele) decided to work with local farmers, like BlackBird and Manchester farms, to create, for the first time, a truly local charcuterie. This new local line, over a year in the making and including prosciutto, capocollo, sopressata, mortadella, and salame, is just getting launched. “We worked with local farmers to raise special hogs, worked with RISD students to design the label, and worked with Johnson and Wales chefs to put together special recipes. It is amazing how what a hog eats, where its raised and how the meat is cured can make a difference.”
Daniele has been making fine quality cured meats for 60 years. The company was founded in Italy by Davide and Stefano’s grandparents Stefano and Carolina Dukcevich, who lost everything they owned fleeing Tito’s Communist Yugoslavia in the 1940’s. In 1977, their son Vlado, Davide and Stefano’s father, emigrated to Rhode Island, bringing Daniele with him. Despite a 30-plus year history in the state, the company is not necessarily a household name, unlike, say, a company like Del’s. “We’ve kept a pretty low profile,” Davide admits. He’s setting his sights on changing that, expanding a company that’s committed to helping grow a food economy here in Rhode Island. “Our state’s economic development efforts have been focused of tech, building the next ‘Silicon Valley.’ But the actual foundations of a ‘Food Valley’ are already in place.” Daniele’s R.I.-made and sourced charcuterie is currently available locally at Farmstead in Warren, Persimmon in Bristol, and Avenue N in Rumford, as well as at select delis, Dave’s Markets, and through Farm Fresh RI.