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A slice of Italy in Wodonga


 

In an unexpected location on a quiet suburban street, a third generation Wodonga business has been producing artisan meats for more than 60 years.

Inside Formichi Smallgoods on Kelly St, you will always find plenty of conversation and laughter from Robert and Rose Formichi who work alongside their son, Steven, who is the vice-president of the Hume Murray Food Bowl Inc and the Albury-Wodonga Farmers Market.

The business sells hams, bacons, salamis, frankfurts, kranskis, cabanas, pork sausages, and imported cheeses and olives that complement their meats.

Formichi’s smallgoods have found their way into some of the top restaurants and cafes in the region including The Goods Shed, The Pickled Sisters Cafe, Bridge Road Brewery, and Bean Station.

Mr Formichi speaks fondly about his family business and takes pride in their products.

“This has always been home base for me. I was raised here in Kelly St and I remain here in Kelly St,” he said.

“Our products are gluten-free and we use all raw ingredients. Many of our recipes and techniques were handed down by my father.”

His father, Vasco, worked at a meat factory in Italy before arriving at the Bonegilla Migrant Camp in 1957 where he worked in the kitchen.

“My father worked in the Bonegilla kitchen while weekends were spent building the Kelly St shop,” Mr Formichi said.

“The shop was built in 1958 using homemade bricks made from sand from the Wodonga Creek and cement bought from Mann’s.”

After almost five decades in the meat game, Mr Formichi says not much has changed except for the increase in paperwork.

The family wound down the business during the COVID pandemic and border closures meant they couldn’t attend their regular Canberra markets.

“We survived because we are a family business and we could wind down, because we own what we have here,” Mr Formichi said.

The business is open Thursday and Friday from 8.30am to 5.30pm and Saturdays from 8.30am until 12.30pm.

Every second Saturday the family trade at the Albury-Wodonga Farmers Market at Gateway Village on the Lincoln Causeway, alternating with the Canberra market.

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