The Coffee Wizard, And The Birth Of The Italian Dream
The history of Caffè Barbera begins all the way back in 1870, when Domenico Barbera decided to settle in Southern Italy, and begin producing coffee with a small handcrafted roasting machine. His native Northern Italian industriousness and diligence, combined with the cheerfulness typical of his adopted South, soon lead to a thriving business. Domenico the coffee wizard, as he was known locally, watched his family and business grow together. His first roasting machine, called the Tornado, was capable of toasting 30 kilos of coffee at one time, and became his pride and joy. Unfortunately in 1903 Domenico Barbera the coffee wizard passed away unexpectedly from illness. Yet, he had enough time to hand down his art and passion to his children. The family business that proudly bears his name continues to live on today, and remains just as committed to producing high quality coffee, as the coffee wizard was all those years ago.
The Second Generation: From A Local Business To A Local Industry
Antonio Barbera, Domenico’s son, took charge of the family business and continued to successfully grow it. A dedication to quality, a clever administration of family assets, and a careful management of the brand image transformed Caffè Barbera into one of the most popular coffee brands in Southern Italy during the interwar period. After suffering from the destruction caused by the war, the business was speedily rebuilt and soon re-emerged stronger than ever. In the Italian post-war economic boom the new goal became to bring Caffè Barbera’s tradition of excellence and success, to new rapidly growing markets all over the rest of Italy.
The Third Generation: Networking All Over The Boot
Antonio with the help of his son, Letterio Barbera, soon opened a new factory in Naples, the historical birthplace of Italian coffee culture. A great risk certainly, but also one that in the end, proved a great triumph. The new Neapolitan roastery became the foundation on which the family constructed a distribution network that stretched across the length of the Italian peninsula. Branches of the business were soon opened all the way in Milan. Caffè Barbera had now truly became an Italian coffee brand, that could be enjoyed everywhere, from the foot of Alps to the coasts of Sicily.
The Fourth Generation: Research And Development
Under Antonio’s guidance the business had already transformed a small artisanal production into an industrial one. Yet it wasn’t until the arrival of Carmelo Barbera, that the production techniques of the business were again revolutionised by the application of modern scientific principles. After earning his master’s degree in Food Technology from Columbia University (NY), Carmelo with the support of the family business founded the first specialised chemical laboratory dedicated to the study of coffee in Italy. The business decided to place a new emphasis on research and development, and that would make all the difference. Perhaps Carmelo’s was a simple intuition, born of the times. Yet it was essential to the future growth of the business. Unsurprisingly the name Caffè Barbera, in collaboration with the international coffee community, began to appear in prestigious scientific publications and journals during this period.
The Fifth Generation: And International And Award Winning Brand
The new international approach, which began with Carmelo, expanded under the leadership of Enrico Barbera, who took control of the business in 1982. In 1978 the business had changed organisational structure and become a private limited company. It had also begun making inroads in international markets. Distribution soared and Caffè Barbera rapidly established a presence in 60 countries on 5 continents. Simultaneously it reinforced and further developed its domestic presence. Adapting to the latest trends, in 2003 the company inaugurated the first Café Barbera franchise in Dubai, launching its new concept of cafés chains called ‘’Cafè Barbera – The Italian Coffee House’’. During this period the company also received several international awards and accolades attesting to the high quality of its products. Yet the business continued to hold on to its traditional values, knowing that the greatest success of all was the daily satisfaction of its loyal customers around the world.
The sixth generation: global coffee
Today, Elio, to the corporate vision and operations of national and international expansion, adds the exploration and development of new markets, successfully focusing on the comparison with the Web and Social Media, towards a trans-generational vision of the family brand.