The pepperoni roll was invented by Giuseppe “Joseph” Argiro at the Country Club Bakery in Fairmont, West Virginia in 1927. It began as a practical lunch for Italian coal-miners who needed food that was portable, filling, and long lasting. Argiro, a former miner himself, noticed that many of his co-workers would bring pepperoni and slices of bread for their lunches. From then on, he began baking rolls with pepperoni slices inside. He passed on the recipe to his son, Frank “Cheech” Argiro, who owned the Country Club Bakery until 1997. Today, the bakery is owned by Chris Pallotta.
Eighty years later, there are now many different bakeries that specialize in making pepperoni rolls in the Appalachian region. There are also restaurants that bake and sell their own homemade pepperoni rolls to diners. Colasessano\’s is a restaurant that has been in business for more than fifty years and is known for serving pizza and pepperoni rolls to local customers. They have two locations in Fairmont and recently expanded their business to Morgantown.
Our work on this multimedia project began when Katie suggested that we do a story on the history of the pepperoni roll, since it originated in Fairmont, W.Va. She called the Country Club Bakery and set up a time when our group could go in. Katie, Alex, and I met at the Lowes by the Morgantown mall at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 12th and drove to the bakery together. Sayres and Taelene also met us there. I gathered footage of the pepperoni roll making process; from rolling the pepperoni rolls to baking them in the oven. Alex and Taelene took photos and gathered information for photo captions and the print story. Katie and Sayres spoke to the owner, Chris Pallotta about setting up an interview and gathered information on the Country Club Bakery and the history of the pepperoni roll.
The next week, Katie and I met at Lowes again on Monday, April 18th at 7:30 a.m. and went back to the Country Club Bakery to interview Chris Pallotta and get more video footage. Later that day around 1:00 p.m., Sayres, Taelene, and I went to the Colasessano’s in Morgantown in hopes of getting video footage of people eating pepperoni rolls and interviews. However, when we arrived there was only one person eating in the restaurant, most likely because we just missed the lunch crowd. We decided that we would not have enough time to get all of the video and interviews that we needed, so we decided to reschedule.
On Saturday, April 23rd, Katie and I again met at Lowes at 10:30 a.m. and then drove to the original Colasessano’s restaurant in Fairmont. Luckily, everyone that was in the restaurant was willing to be on camera and be interviewed. We got video footage of various people eating pepperoni rolls, the restaurant, and gained information about the history of Colasessano’s from their employees. We were also able to get an interview from one of the employees and three different diners that were eating there.
On Monday, April 25th, Katie, Sayres, and I went to the edit lab to edit our entire multimedia package. Although it was somewhat of a long process, we were able to finish with great video that included text slides, video, music, and interviews of the history and making of the pepperoni roll.
We received feedback the next day in class (Tuesday, April 26th) from our professors and just needed to make a few adjustments to our multimedia project before we submitted it. Katie and I met in the edit lab Sunday (May 1st) to make the changes to our video, create our DVDs, print the video to the bureau tapes, and finally submit all of the materials for our final project.
Overall, I am very pleased with how our project turned out as a whole. At the beginning, I was somewhat skeptical of doing our story on pepperoni rolls, but I found out so much information on the subject and how it really is a tradition native to Fairmont, W.Va. and the Appalachian region.