Eyeing retirement, owners of Butte’s iconic Truzzolino Tamales selling business—but there’s a catch – KXLF News

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BUTTE — I’m in the kitchen of Truzzolino’s, a Butte institution for 125 years, where they make their famous pasties and world-famous Italian/Mexican tamale.

“I didn’t pre-order, but could I get like two dozen party pasties,” a customer asked after walking into the store.

“Yup!” said owner John Truzzolino.

“Tamales is for the Italian-Mexicans in Butte, I guess, yeah, that’s what everybody always says. But it’s just a good tradition,” said Truzzolino.

John Truzzolino.jpg

The tradition started in 1896 when John’s great-grandfather Vincent started Truzzolino’s in Butte. Many Italian immigrants came to the U.S. by way of South America and brought with them their own style of tamale.

“It’s been made from day-one the same. We’ve been using the same chili powder since, I think, 90 years,” said Truzzolino.

He credits his loyal customers for keeping them in business for more than a century.

“We like to get some pasties and some tamale pies and things like that and just have some old-time Butte traditions,” said loyal customer Linda Lowney.

John Truzzolino and his wife Janel plan to retire once they sell the business, but he will only sell to someone who keeps the quality and tradition alive.

“We want to make sure that nothing ever changes, no ingredients change, the quality of service never changes. We just want it to be 100 percent what it is,” said Truzzolino.

For long-time employee Cary Sprinkle, it’s more than just a job.

“It’s a really great business to work for. They are my family, honestly, true family and it’s to be able to go out in public and say I work at Truzzolino’s and they’re like, ‘No kidding!’” said Sprinkle.

John says he’ll work with the new owner to make sure they get it right. But is he sure he’s ready to walk away?

“No, I’m not ready to walk away, but I got to plan for the future. You just never know what’s coming around the corner, so I’m just planning ahead,” said Truzzolino.

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