In the last month, Fino in Fondo, the McMinnville-based salumeria that produced Italian-style salami, mortadella, and prosciutto, ceased production and left its warehouse/deli space on NE 4th Street. The company was formed by chef/owners Eric Ferguson and Carmen Peirano, who also own and operate Nick’s Italian Café and Peirano & Daughters, and the company says that it hopes to restructure and reopen in the Peirano & Daughters deli space in the first quarter of 2016. If it wants to reopen, it will have to curb sales and production ambitions.
"We couldn’t keep up," said Ferguson. "We just wanted to make salami and mortadella. We did it for passion. But Nick’s is our flagship and has gotten really busy, and we have to make sure that this business keeps rocking."
Begun in 2010 at roughly the same time as Portland’s Olympic Provisions, Fino began with a line of hard, pepperoni-style salami. Flavored with ingredients like Oregon black truffles and featuring Old World salami-making techniques that Ferguson and Peirano learned in Italy, the salami quickly became regional hits. Delis like the Red Hills Market in Dundee carried the products, restaurants featured Fino salumi on their menus, and buyers came calling from New York and Boston.
Growing demand and the James Beard-awarded Nick's Italian Café weren't the only things consuming Ferguson and Peirano's time. The couple had two daughters in the last five years, and they opened Peirano & Daughters, an Italian deli, next door to the restaurant in 2013. When juggling all three businesses became too much, Fino got the ax last month. Inventory was all sold off, and the warehouse/retail space is now seeking a new tenant.
When and if Fino gets back on its feet, the Peirano & Daughters deli space will likely house the company's production and curing rooms. "We’ve got a great brand and a great product," said Ferguson. "We did it out of necessity: We have to make salami."