ABOUT CHICOPEE PROVISION CO., INC.
We’ve been credited with the manufacturing of the world’s largest kielbasa… 600 pounds! Yet, our greatest claim to fame has come from our ability to manufacture tasty, tempting and tantalizing kielbasa since 1920. Since then we’ve added an impressive array of tasty products, including hot dogs, hot and sweet sausages, baked loaves, which have been prized for their special taste, and other meat-based delicacies. To many in the Northeast the Blue Seal brand has come to mean “that special taste and flavor” that’s easy to love and difficult to forget. That’s why we’ve been around for almost 100 years.
In 1920, when Stanley Sitarz asked his brother, Jacob, and a colleague named Bartlomiej Partyka to join him in the production of Polish style kielbasa, the Sitarz Manufacturing Company was born at 40 West Street in Chicopee, MA. As they prospered, new products were added and Sitarz Manufacturing Company became the Chicopee Sausage and Provision Company.
As they continued to prosper, more lines of products and groceries were added. In the growth process, the company organized to become the S&P Market. Because customers were not as mobile in those years as they are today, management decided to market their products directly. They hired a horse and wagon and began to sell door-to-door and store-to-store in nearby cities and towns.
In six years, manufacturing was, indeed, a major component of their company’s operation. The demand for larger and more spacious quarters became apparent. They purchased land on a small site off Chicopee Street that ultimately became Sitarz Avenue. There, construction of their new plant, and still their present location, was begun.
At that time, as the scope of their operations expanded, and management’s responsibilities increased, Antoni Budarz, John Szczepanski and Wladyslaw Kaminski joined the partnership. The company’s growth pattern continued. Finally, on December 31, 1931, the company incorporated and became Chicopee Provision Co., Inc., manufacturers of “Blue Seal” Table Ready Meats and Specialties. It has been a successful run that promises to reach the next millennium and beyond.
Even though the founders were attuned to achieving success, they faced many serious obstacles and impediments along the way. Their site was located close to the banks of the Connecticut River. When the river overran its banks in 1936, 1938 and 1955, dangerous flooding created huge losses to the plant and inventory. Fortunately, there was no loss of life.
When meat and foods were rationed during World War II, Chicopee Provision nearly closed its operation because of the lack of beef and pork. During those five years, only the most resourceful of that type of business survived. The Blue Seal brand withstood the shortages and continues to be a favorite of many people.