It all began just after the end of World War I, in the old Lucca Bakery on South Western Avenue, in the heart of one of Chicago’s Italian neighborhoods. It was there that Pasquale Scala, an Italian immigrant, started creating his own distinctive brand of quality sausages and meats. Over the years, Pasquale built a loyal following of customers and was a common sight around town delivering his sausages and meats in a horse-drawn wagon.
From the first day that Pasquale began offering his meat products to the people of Chicago, it was clear what set Scala’s apart from its competitors. He prepared meats with a proven recipe of superior taste, patience, and great care. As demand grew, Pasquale established the Scala Packing Company on West Harrison Street in 1925. Sausages and meats were prepared in the back and sold in the front. Scala Packing soon became revered among its loyal customers for placing quality over quantity – a tradition that continues today.
Pasquale later brought his two sons, Robert and Ralph, into the business. Together they sold their legendary Scala’s Italian beef and Scala’s Italian sausage throughout Chicago, which helped promote the establishment of dozens of Italian beef and sausage stands all across the city. The rest is Chicago history.
Today, Scala’s Original is still headquartered in Chicago producing Scala’s famous premium Italian beef, Italian sausage, Italian sausage for pizza, and Giardiniera in hot and mild mix. With over 85 years of experience and a head start over virtually all of our competitors, it’s easy to see why Scala’s premium products are the best around and everyone else is still trying to catch up.
A few years later when the great depression arrived, times were hard and “necessity became the mother of invention.” At a time when food and other goods were scarce, Scala Packing helped develop and introduce the concept of serving thinly sliced beef on a bun and loaded with gravy. This meal was originally introduced at weddings and banquets where the meat was sliced thinly so there would be enough to feed all the guests. It rapidly grew in popularity and eventually became Chicago’s most famous ethnic food: the original Italian beef sandwich.