The Caffè Ernani project is ambitious. Luca reveals us some details, also on how he fell in love with coffee.
Hi Luca, you are the locomotive of the Caffè Ernani project.
Indeed I never stop: along with Claudia I manage the historical roastery of Corso Buenos Aires in Milan and with Giorgio I am also the point of contact of many of our partners baristas in the local area of Milan, Monza, Como and Lecco. As well as being responsible for our distribution network, I also take care of the green coffee and espresso cupping with Paolo. I also take care of the maintenance of our artisan workshop.
You never stop working, you must really like your job
I fell in love with coffee almost twenty years ago. I started a successuful company in the electrical engineering industry, but when I realized the magic of the coffee world, I left the company that I had founded and invested the money to purchase with Giorgio, Renzo and Claudia the shares of a local distribution company. Then I contributed to the success of a brand that was well-known in Milan, taking part in the roasting and in the opening of many local bars and roasteries that are still in business in the city of Milan.
In addition to my kids and my wife there is only Caffè Ernani and the project we started two years ago. The road to get to the goals we have set for us is very long so there is so much to do.
What are these goals?
Our goals are shared by all companies part to our group but we can summarize the same as follows: spreading the coffee culture together with an excellent coffee, not necessarily in line with what is dictated by the Italian coffee tradition. These rules are too tight for us and are much more simpler than how we conceive coffee and espresso.
Why Caffè Ernani does not stop roasting coffee as many other roasters have done over the last twenty years. They have have stopped roasting coffee and started buying roasted coffee from larger companies to keep costs down simply putting they brand on the package. Would not this approach be easier?
Our plan is clear: we do not want to merely be distributors. When we tell our baristas that we roast coffee, that we know what quality coffee really is, that we focus on finding the best green coffee and at the same time know what it’s like to manage a bar, it must all be true and it must all be about product quality and customer service. At the same time, the historical roastery of Corso Buenos Aires in Milan can not and shall never be perceived as a mere resale of industrial coffee, otherwise it would loose its charm. We are a little artisanal roasting company and we want our values to be transferred in our cups, we can not be just words.
Are you satisfied with the results so far obtained?
We’ve done so much over the latest years and I might be happy, but it’s not enough at all. We want the world of Italian baristas to understand that coffee quality is central to the success of their bars and we want their clients and our clients to be always fully satisfied with the experience of our coffee. When it comes to e-commerce, we started our shop at the end of 2016, focusing heavily on the subscription formula. We believe it is an innovative way for everybody to experience freshly roasted coffee as our local clients can can do in our historic roastery.
What are you dealing with lately?
For six months we have been working very hard on our Nespresso compatible capsules. Even in this case, we could have made a simpler choice, putting our brand on a larger company product but this is not how we work at Caffé Ernani. You have no idea of how many capsules we produced that will never reach the market because they have not met our standards, but we are almost there. In a few weeks we will start distributing the Blue Diamond and the Allegro blends capsules. If, as I hope, they will be successful, two other blends will come soon: Vivace and Adagio, our decaffeinated coffee. We are very excited about the result and we are looking forward for you all to taste them.
Are there any other plans you want to share?
Regarding the Corso Buenos Aires Milanese roastery, we are considering adding a new coffee grinder in addition to the four already installed in order to expand the number of blends and single origins that can be enjoyed at the counter. With regard to the offer for bars, we are working on an innovative products bundle. I cannot say anything more but we are sure that this bundle will be able to enrich the customer experience of those baristas purchasing the package.
Good luck Luca!