La Marzocco: from espresso machines to the coffee academy. The challenges of Made in Italy of expertise

Conversation with the CEO of the historic Florentine company La Marzocco: the new initiatives, record increases in revenue, the warehouse center in the USA. All the secrets behind success

The most famous bartenders and stars in sports and entertainment know them, use them and celebrate them. I am La Marzocco espresso machines, n.1 in Italy and in the world in the field of professional espresso sales, in the most prestigious and fast-growing sector, that of espresso specialists working only with top-class machines, with excellent performance and reliability, made in Italy.

Jimmy Butler, star in the basket, has also installed one in his personal plane, Alain Ducasse, Victoria and David Beckham have been big admirers for years. The historic Florentine company, which designs and manufactures all its products in Italy and sells almost all abroad (97 per cent), is also gaining space, fame and success in the rich home barista segment. The news is that as befits a brand that has almost a century (97 years) behind it, it has recently created Academy of Espresso Coffeein Scarperia on the hills around Florence, with an investment of 6 million euros to impart the skills, charm, history and future of Italian coffee.

In 2021, revenue increased by 60%

An initiative that ratifies a year, 2021, full of events culminating in a large commitment of resources, 16 million euros, at the production site in Florence and closed with a turnover of 210 million euros (70 million more and +61 percent compared to 2020), 670 employees of which 250 abroad and 40 thousand machines produced.

And it’s thanks to the excellence of the brand and the manufacturing in Italy that while the entire bar and restaurant equipment sector suffered a sales collapse in recent months, the company recorded only a 3% deviation of the numbers business, to restart with the turbo on +60 percent in 2021 and one +24 percent in the first months of 2022, only held back by lack of raw materials and chips. A shortcoming that, however, has not created the production blocks that others have suffered in La Marzocco.

“We had made sure in time to create stocks of the components, which are about 80 percent of Italian origin – he says to FIRSTonline CEO Guido Bernardinelli – and when the global logistics crisis began to block transport, we initially sent the products by air and at the same time decided to create warehouses in the areas where our exports are most targeted. And recently we opened a first large warehouse hub in the United Statesin Houston, Texas “.

Marzocco n.1 in the world

2021 proved to be not only a particularly eventful year, but also to consolidate the leadership it sees made in Italy from espresso coffee firmly controlled by the Italians, but above all by La Marzocco (followed by the La Cimbali-Faema group and by Nuova Simonelli) in a market whose dimensions are not precisely known, it seems to be a little over a billion.

Australian Breville, known for its classic small American-style appliances and also because it mimics Italian espresso machines with excellent products, has recently acquired the Italian Lelit. And yet he decided to land in Italy using a new Sage brand when the Breville brand was acquired without his knowledge by an operator that has exclusive ownership for the whole of Europe. But there are also other non-Italian companies trying to enter the sector.

The invaluable value of Made in Italy

How does Made in Italy react to the inevitable arrival of new competitors? “Our strength and our value – Bernardinelli answers – stem from the fact that ours The machines are made exclusively in ItalyTo confirm this supremacy with greater impact, La Marzocco has chosen to reinforce its history with high-quality re-releases, cultural and commercial initiatives, invest in people, among others, and hire new ones: in 2020, 90 employees arrived and in 2021, another 120. And recently, it introduced the Mini Legacy Special Edition Line inspired by Classic, which turns 30 this year.

“It’s a miniature of the machines that contributed to our expansion and dedicated to a specific category of private customers – emphasizes Bernardinelli – home bartender, passionate about high quality coffee, always looking for craft roasting, the most exclusive blends, just as it has been in the wine sector for years, where connoisseurs go in search of refined wine bars and wineries “.

This is the new espresso trend. And here is La Marzocco, still ahead of its time and the competition original and eco-sustainable cafes as happened in May with Fluid Specialty Coffee & Sharing, the innovative open space in Florence created by Le plantagioni del Caffè, a Livorno roasting company dedicated to specialty and high quality coffee and IDEA Food & Beverage in Milan.

The coffee from Piantagioni del Caffè can be traced to the plantation of origin, with the highest scores below the certified tastings. A famous place since the opening, which every day sees long lines of admirers and tasters ready to taste and tell stories and myths about the fragrant drink.

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