History

Fed-Rick Veal Co.

Carmine Balzano, owner of Fed-Rick Veal Co., is a fifth-generation meat cutter. The roots of his experience dates back to the late 1800s when his great grandfather, Ignazio Balzano, left the family slaughterhouse business in Italy and came to America along with his seven brothers. Ignazio settled in Bristol, RI and opened his own slaughterhouse business. His son, Carmine, after working with his father as a youth, moved to Providence in the early ‘30s. Carmine worked with many different meat cutters and markets until he opened his own business in the early ‘50s on Atwells Ave. in the heart of Federal Hill: Federal Beef Inc.

He was well-known in the business back then for his ability to evenly slice veal cutlets by hand. Gennaro, his son, who worked with his father since high school, bought Federal Beef Inc. in the early ‘60s. Gennaro, who could see the impact that the new supermarkets were having on the small family-run meat markets, decided to go into the wholesale veal business in 1969. The name Fed-Rick Veal Co. came from FEDeral Beef and RICKy’s Meats—a partner with Gennaro for a short time. Gennaro quickly became known for his quality and service to the restaurant industry in Rhode Island and business flourished as a result. His two sons, Carmine and Gennaro Jr., joined him in the early ‘70s and continued to work together until Gennaro Sr. semi-retired in 1988 and moved to Florida. 

Carmine and Gennaro Jr. continued the business by expanding their product line and opening up a retail market called Casa Vitello. In 1996, Fed-Rick Veal Co. was awarded the veal cutlet contract to the Olympic Village in Atlanta Olympic Games. Out of the 50 other companies who sent samples, the decision to award the contract was not based on the price (Fed-Rick’s price was the highest)—it was based on the quality of the product. In 2001, Carmine bought the business from his father and brother. He now operates Fed-Rick Veal in Providence RI with his wife Diane and their son Adam, marking the sixth generation of a commitment to excellence in the veal business.