Make It To Go

picnic with meat and cheese

By Ellen Oltman Kellner

Pack up a picnic any time of year… for a roadtrip rest stop, a lawn concert feast, or a sunny slopeside snack.

Fortuna’s Sausage & Italian Market on Main Street in Manchester Center is owned and managed by mother-and-son team Patti Fortuna-Stannard and Chris Stannard. The shop is bright and filled with delicious aromas of salami and olives; almost every surface is covered with tasting samples. Be inspired by the picnic basket display in the window and pack a picnic lunch. Choose a package of pre-sliced Finocchiona salami, a dry-cured sausage lightly scented with fennel and a wedge of their own imported provolone, which they age and then package in-house. Throw in a beautiful loaf of Earth Sky Time’s crusty sesame bread.

Chris enthusiastically tells visitors the history of his family’s sausage making, and notes that they still use the same recipes his great-grandparents brought from Calabria in southern Italy over 125 years ago. No nitrites or nitrates are ever used, and all their seasonings are natural and ethically sourced. While the family’s manufacturing facility is in central New York State, Chris noted that the family moved their business headquarters from Rhode Island to Vermont because of the quality of local ingredients and the very positive reception they received from Vermonters. “It seemed,” he said, “a perfect fit.” They opened the Main Street store this winter, and have enjoyed becoming a part of the local food community.

This is their only retail shop; fortunately, Fortuna’s has a vibrant website and ships worldwide, which is a good thing for those who don’t live within a short drive.

4943 Main Sreet, Manchester. 802-362-4051 or