In 2007, Michael & Suzanne Panza and Family began supplying Bay Area chefs with locally raised meat products ranging from beef, pork and lamb to rabbits and goats. For over 20 years Michael worked as a chef for Marriott, Hyatt and other quality oriented food corporations before setting down his knifes and moving into the world of meat and seafood distribution. Michael learned the distribution business while working for some of the largest wholesale distributors, including Facciola Meat Co., Smart & Final Food Service and Oregon-based, Pacific Seafood.
Now with more than 40 years of food experience, Michael and his family have built their own meat distribution company, BIAGIO ARTISAN MEATS. Biagio sources its products from small artisan ranchers and farmers. All animals are born and raised in California. These products come only from ranchers and farmers that meet Biagio's criteria of sustainability, humaneness toward animals and consistent quality.
The Panza family had never considered starting their own business, but after returning from 2 years in Salt Lake City, many of the chefs were talking about how difficult it was to get local meat. They knew that there were amazing farmers and ranchers producing great quality animals which were raised humanely. Many of these chefs would love to use such products in their operations, but the logistics of the entire process was just too complicated for them for them to take on themselves. That is when Michael and his family stepped in and created an avenue for chefs to be able to receive these products from reliable sources, with consistent quality and reliability. Finding the quality farmers and ranchers, as well as, helping these small, family farmers and ranchers negotiate the USDA or state inspection process was a key element in getting local meats into the hands of Bay Area chefs.
Biagio Artisan Meats started with just 2 customers and has grown to over 70 in the past 7 years. These customers are like a roster of quality oriented Bay Area restaurants and markets. Here are just a few: A16 SF & Rockridge, AQ, Artisan Bistro, Birite Markets, Bix, Boxing Room, Chalkboard, Comstock, Coqueta, Farmshop, Fog City, Frances, Lafayette Park Hotel, Madrona Manor, Marina Meats, Michael Mina, Outerlands, Prospect, Saison, Spoonbar, SPQR, TBD, Tra Vigne, Va de Vi, Wente Vineyards and many others. All choose Biagio Aritsan Meats as a source for products that meet their high standards and their customers needs for quality, sustainability and locally sourced products.