According to Jeanne Mozier in her indispensable guide book, Way Out in West Virginia, the pepperoni roll was invented by Giuseppe Agiro at the Country Club Bakery in Fairmont in 1927. We spoke with one of the top pepperoni-roll makers in town today, who told us that he was quite certain it wasn’t invented until the 1940s, but date notwithstanding, no one disputes the primogeniture of the Country Club; and anyone who's traveled much in West Virginia knows that the pepperoni roll is the Mountaineer State's favorite quick-eats snack/meal.
Many of the pepperoni rolls sold in grocery stores and convenience marts in the greater Fairmont area are supplied by Country Club Bakery. For an absolutely fresh and pure taste of West Virginia’s most distinctive single specialty, we suggest travelers stop at the source and buy a half-dozen or a bag full. At fifty-nine cents apiece, they’re handy little sandwiches – a sheaf of spicy pepperoni sticks enclosed in dough reminiscent of the puffy rim of a pizza pie. You can understand why pepperoni rolls used to be a favorite lunch for coal miners to carry with them underground: portable, self-contained, and long-lasting. These are all qualities that make them excellent car-food, too!
"Note how a bit of seepage from the hot pepperoni sticks flavors the fresh-baked roll."
"Watching the magic happen in the kitchen of the Country Club Bakery in December, 2010. I was standing at the counter and saw that huge pile of pepperoni sticks being made into rolls through the Dutch door and asked if I could take a pic. Between the aroma, the old double pan balance, the flag, and family photos on the wall, time stood still for a minute."
"This is the place to get your West Virginia pepperoni roll hot from the oven."