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In 1922 at the height of the roaring twenties, Guido Vaccari and his elder half brother Mauro Piccinini decided to open a fine meat business. Mauro, as the elder, dubbed the new business Piccinini Bros. And the original store at 647 Ninth Avenue, in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen, became a part of an international food neighborhood.

While Mauro learned his trade in large European slaughterhouses, Guido learned his courtesy of the U.S. government as a butcher in the service during World War I. But the two shared the same concept: a retail shop that would serve the burgeoning number of New York’s exciting young restaurants. The new store sported one of the city’s first walk in freezers, along with imported marble counters, white enameled Toledo scales, and custom-made panel walls around classic saw-dust floors. The theater district bustled in those years and Piccinini Bros. Enjoyed an ambitious and colorful mix of clientele: housewives, speakeasies, restaurants and meat loving actors like Walter Matthau and Jimmy Durante.

Guido’s son Rudy helped in the shop from the age of 14, learning the business from the ground up. After school and on weekends, he swept sawdust and ran errands, eventually apprenticing behind the counter. After completing a navy stint in 1946, he returned to New York well prepared for a full time career. When Mauro sadly passed away in 1960, Rudy assumed additional responsibilities and the landmark family business continued to thrive.

Rudy’s oldest son, Richard, joined him in 1971 and he too was taught how to hand pick from Gansevoort Market only the finest meats to be stamped with the Piccinini brand and the quality poultry needed for daily deliveries. Expanding business meant the need for new refrigeration and more space, so in 1974 Richard and Rudy moved to the present larger location at 633 Ninth Avenue. Over the years, the family developed a large following of New York’s finest restaurants, while continuing to maintain the high quality for retail clientele. The second expansion in 1994 exceeded many of the current standards set by the USDA.

In the 80’s, Rudy’s other two sons, Peter and Paul, joined them as partners. Now, after three generations, Piccinini Bros. Is looking forward to the millennium and beyond, striving to offer the finest quality and service possible to the ever widening clientele.


The Vaccari Family

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