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What's a spiedie?
Rob Salamida was 16 years old when he began cooking spiedies on a charcoal grill in front of a local tavern to earn college money.
After more than a year of letter writing, he finally convinced the New York State Fair officials to allow him space for an outdoor booth. At the time, he was the youngest person to ever have his own food concession on the Syracuse Fairgrounds.
Every summer for 12 years he built his reputation with the much sought after Spiedie sandwich.
Bottling the flavor
Rob realized that the popularity of the Spiedie was growing.
He came up with the idea of bottling a marinade sauce after a tornado nearly struck
his concession stand at the 1975 State Fair. He started his bottling operation in his parent's basement rec-room on a ply wood covered pool table, filling each bottle by hand with his special mix of herbs and spices, blended vinegars and vegetable oil.
Rob's Spiedie stand at the New York State Fair
A Spiedie sign at a local grocery store.
There must be a better way to get
spiedies to more people...
..BINGO: Put the spiedie in the bottle!
- Rob Salamida, Founder and CEO
Initially, he delivered his product to local grocery stores out of the trunk of his car on his lunch hour from his job. He persevered over the cold winter months when grocers would not stock the sauce, and eventually won their favor and saw year round sales. From delivering out of a car trunk to tractor trailers departing fully loaded with sauce from the new 15,000 square foot facility, the Salamida reputation has grown nationally and people call daily to inquire how they can get the sauce in their hometown.
A lasting tradition
The most unique aspect is that today, just as when Rob started on his parents pool table, the production method is still done with the same attention to detail; ingredients are bottled in separate stages to ensure the exact amount is the same in each bottle.
The assurance of quality over high speed production methods has been the touchstone of Salamida's State Fair Sauces. It is still a hometown sauce with a homemade flavor that has sold millions of bottles, 16 ounces at a time.
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