In the spring of ’33, a job opportunity leads Amleto, along with his wife Elettra and their children, Umberto, Sergio and Aldo in order of age, to move to Livorno.
The Second World War rages on and falls upon Livorno. Sergio, the middle brother, accepts a job in Bologna as the representative for a company that sells green coffee wholesale.
The foundation stone
The rest of the family stays in Livorno and in 1946, Amleto decides to start his own coffee roasting company, only the second in the whole city. Sergio directs the whole operation from Bologna. His grandpa, Amleto, takes care of the work to be done in Livorno: first off, he obtains the licence to open the business.
And so Torrefazione Columbia was born, with its first Livorno-based roastery at the end of via Buontalenti, later expanding to a warehouse in via Calzabigi.
The company grows
In 1959, a second roastery in viale Ugo Conti is opened. Business booms and Columbia’s coffee becomes more and more popular throughout Tuscany. Just as the whole family is thriving, this period of positivity is brusquely cut short by Sergio’s death following a serious illness. His children decide to not only keep the business going, but to actively grow it and move further afield.
1973 is a year of modernity and change: the brand new, modern via Guarini site marks the shift from classic artisanal roasting, done in a laboratory/warehouse, to a modern, industrial facility.
An important turning point
In 1990, the family gets the chance to take over Genoa-based Ekaf, the largest roastery in Liguria, owner of brands such as Eureka and Filicori, and they don’t let it slip through their fingers: managing a company as large and deeply-rooted in the area as Ekaf, which covers the whole centre-north, is a unique opportunity.
Set up by Ugo Merialdi, a highly-regarded coffee expert, Ekaf is so well-structured, thanks to unrivalled levels of expertise and extremely efficient organisation, that the Pieri family needs only contribute its intimate knowledge of the roasting business to take the company to dizzying new heights of quality and success. A fresh wave of the thirst for knowledge already widespread in the company aims to make it a landmark in the culture of excellence.
The brand is born
In 1996, the Cellini project is born out of Columbia’s merger with two other historic brands that are also leaders in the Italian HO.RE.CA sector: Filicori, founded in Bologna in 1883, and Eureka, founded in Genoa in 1933.
The decision to then have other historic producers come under the brand’s umbrella is supported by communication tools that aim to spread the message of the values at the heart of the Pieri family’s business. The Cellini brand will have to be carefully protected and shaped in order to make sure it faithfully represents the company’s philosophy of production.
The new needs of the company
After nearly ten years with the Pieri family at the wheel, Ekaf reaches its maximum possible production capacity. Italian espresso becomes more and more well-known worldwide and the Cellini name becomes synonymous with quality, managing to compete with even the most famous Italian brands at an international level. It soon becomes clear that a new facility is needed.
In 2005, the new Genoa Bolzaneto plant is completed: around 11,000 square metres of total area, of which 6,500 indoors, in a strategic location close to the motorway. This new facility is the home of the company’s philosophy. Accurate checks with the aim of achieving a consistently high-quality product are carried out by highly advanced Italian machinery, keeping the tradition of slow roasting alive with the help of modern production methods and a certified quality control system.
La vita. La passione
The experiences of the past, both direct and indirect, have in no way slowed down development: rather, they have been a springboard for a new, innovative spirit that the men and women who work and have worked with Cellini have come to embody.