Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore


Hailing from Salt Lake City, Salumist, Eli Cairo grew up first generation Greek-American with a father who made charcuterie at home. Doing things the old-fashioned way was commonplace. Eli later journeyed to Europe to apprentice in the kitchens of masters. It was there that he rediscovered the art of curing meat.

Upon returning to the states Eli found himself in Oregon after some convincing from his sister and business partner, Michelle, where he set out to approach the craft of charcuterie with purity and patience, recreating a nearly extinct traditional technique that is seldom seen in America.

Today Eli is the founder Olympia Provisions, Oregon’s first USDA-approved salumeria, and six additional restaurants.

Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

"Whether you think you can or can't, you're right."

"Fatigue will make cowards of anybody."

In this episode with Elias Cairo, we discuss:

  • What Elias learned about hustle while studying his father.  
  • Why dropping out of high school was the right move for Elias.  
  • How Elias got the opportunity to apprentice in Sweden. 
  • The importance of following your gut. 
  • Taking initiative to learn more. 
  • Recognizing and capitalizing on opportunities in a market. 
  • Why it is so crucial to find that thing in life that lights you up. Once you find your passion and have a dream you can bare any means to achieve success. 
  • Being mindful of your energy and how you treat people. 
  • Never sacrificing on quality. 
  • Sharing the bounty with your team when times are good. 
  • Creating and living core values. 
  • The impact of open book management. 
  • How to open a meat processing plant. 

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?

    • Lead by example. 
    • Doing what he says he's going to do. 
  2. What is your biggest weakness?

    • Chasing shinny pennies.
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?

    • Ask, "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" 
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    • Finding new talent. 
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.

    • If you ever lose your temper you're not doing it right. 
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?

    • Keeping your staff knowledgable and educated on the product. 
  7. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?

    1. The machine that changed the world
    2. Setting The Table 
    3. Why We Work
  8. Share an online resource or tool.

  9. If you got the news that you'd be leaving this world tomorrow and all memories of you, your work, and your restaurants would be lost with your departure with the exception of 3 pieces of wisdom you could leave behind for the good of humanity, what would they be?

    1. Create a moment of pause in your world.
    2. Be grateful for everything you have and do. 
    3. Nothing should be given to you, it has to be earned

Contact Info 



Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining today! Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

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Huge thanks to Elias Cairo for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


Restaurant Unstoppable is a free podcast. One of the ways I'm able to make it free is by earning a commission when sharing certain products with you. I've made it a core value to only share tools, resources, and services my guest mentors have recommend, first. If you're finding value in my podcast, please use my links!
Direct download: 527_Elias_Cairo_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT