The story of San Jamón began in a little village outside of Zamora in the western end of Castille and Leon, Spain. The rearing of Iberian pigs had been the Cepeda family livelihood for over 30 years. The Cepeda’s pigs consistently won prizes at regional and national fairs for their quality, their perfectly floppy ears, their healthy bones and trot from days spent free-ranging. But they had always sold their livestock to others. A buyer would come in with a price set by the market, with little flexibility for negotiation, and take the pigs to be cured – a riskier, but more lucrative business.
But it was one day just before the onset of the economic crisis that the younger Cepeda had an idea: he’d set up a website and sell his own brand of cured ham online. People called him foolish and his project a waste of time, but he persevered as any great entrepreneur would. He taught himself how to build a webpage and tirelessly pounded the streets looking for customers to help finance his online business. Now, nearly eight years later, San Jamón and their drove of free-ranging pigs are making their way to markets all across Europe.
San Jamón is his family’s own brand producing ham, paleta, salchichón, chorizo, lomo and other charcuterie. Little by little cheeses and olive oils have been added. One morning not too long ago, an American girl showed up at Miguel’s small office with mud caked to her running shoes responding to an ad for translation work. That girl is now our overly-exuberant export manager who oversees marketing and wine sales. She’ll be going after her WSET Diploma in the spring. Soon after, Miguel took his cousin on as warehouse manager, giving himself peace of mind.
Rebeca and Sero round out our office team. Rebeca comes to us with a background in corporate finance and accounting, but really prefers working with customers and sipping a nice Gewurztraminer (though she knows not to mix the two). Sero came to us with a much longer name, but we’ve since had to cut it down for our foreign customers to be able to pronounce. She’s spent time in Brooklyn, New York and Copenhagen and brings a keen design eye to the table. Without them we’d still just be drinking wine and kicking the mud with the pigs.
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