The men of Café Ernani: Luigi

I maestri della tostatura media

Hi Luigi! First of all, thank you for taking the time to interview me.

You joined the team in January 2024. In these very few months you have already demonstrated so much and thoroughly understood the business.

Now I’ll ask you straight away: what are your first impressions?

Hi Martina, but you’re welcome, thank you! I will also finally appear on the Ernani Coffee site!

Yes exactly, I have been here for about two and a half months, and what I have found is a close-knit and united team. The boys are all trained and educated in cafeteria and customer service. I must say that I found an optimal situation from which to grow further.

On the other hand, on the part of the company I immediately had trust and great helpfulness. You have from the very beginning included me in the workforce 100%, speaking to me in a transparent way.

Only with colleagues in the beginning did I receive some mistrust, but this is normal as I came in with an intermediate role between colleagues and administration, namely Bar Manager. But, as you said, having demonstrated from day one my abilities in fulfilling the role assigned to me they slowly opened up and trusted me.

Overall, therefore, it was a very good first impression.

You are smart and this cannot be denied, in fact both we the administration and colleagues have respect and trust in you. All this then you acquired in just a few months, so congratulations!

Coming back to us, what were the jobs or experiences that brought you here?

Be prepared because my story is long, I am someone who likes to change and grow fast!

I started from a Professional Institute for Tourism, as I was from Puglia in fact I would have many job outlets for the future.

After a few experiences in hotels, which, however, did not excite me much, I immediately started with my career in the coffee industry.

My very first summer job, while I was still in school, was as a bartender’s helper at a bar below my house in Bisceglie. Here I first approached the world of coffee as a counter and waiter.

The type of work appealed to me right away, even though I was still unclear about what I wanted to do in the future.

After this initial experience, I worked in 3 other cafes in my city, in which each owner or colleague increased my experience in the daytime cafeteria business.

In the first of the three I was even in the car finally!

After that I left the field momentarily to join the Armed Forces. This was perhaps one of the experiences I most enjoyed. First, because I thrive in hierarchical environments where order and scheduling of roles and tasks reign. In fact, it was here that I was able to learn humility, order, being autonomous, and precision: lessons that I carry with me constantly.

I later went to work as a vice restaurant manager in Abruzzo, expanding my knowledge to the world of wine and cocktails.

In fact, here, rather than serving the dishes, I was really serving the drinks, wines or drinks, beginning to understand catering in general and no longer related only to the day job and the cafeteria.

Although honestly, work in the cafeteria in my opinion remains the best, both because of the lower physical and mental stress and the opportunity to better balance work-life balance.

After I finished my restaurant experience, I first moved on to the pastry shop, in which I also did a little bit of training in the laboratory as well as being responsible for the cafeteria. Experience that left me with more knowledge about the products, their quality and freshness.

During these months I decided to enroll in the AICAF Coffee Academy, completing the entire training cycle and becoming a Certified Coffee Master. For me, in fact, it is not enough to work in a mediocre or sufficient way, if I decide to invest my energies in a field I want to know it, I want to be motivated by it, I want to find interest and increase my skills.

Then I switched to the evening world again, being a store manager in a wine shop, and for the same reason that I took the AICAF courses, at this stage I took the classes and took the exams to become an ICE Sommelier.

To conclude the whole catering industry, I did not miss a thing, even working in an artisanal ice cream shop. Although I stayed very little, having moved to Milan after finding love! (yes I am a romantic)

Here in Milan, I first worked for a well-known and important roasting company, as a supervisor in one of its locations for two years. Perhaps one of the most formative experiences in the areas of cafeteria culture, personnel management, and organization of administrative functions.

But I still wanted more, so here I am at Café Ernani as a Store Manager!

Wow, okay experience you have, the fear of changing jobs does not exist, while your curiosity and professionalism has no limits!

I don’t know in how many lifetimes you have been able to do this, but congratulations indeed for your path and achievements.

So how did you get to Cafe Ernani?

As you know, I was looking for work for a change and especially to grow in level.

On Indeed I found your recruitment ad. However, right after the first email we closed contact because you were looking for a bartender, while I was looking for a Store Manager role.

Lucky for me, however, Fabio, the old Bar Manager, just the week after my interview, decided to quit his job to start a new experience and contacted me again, this time for the real role I wanted!

So here I am on a huge c***, as they say!

It is so true! In life we have to be competent and professional, but every now and then luck gives us a good boost!

Having arrived here, I ask you if you have a goal for the future?

My life goal, besides expanding the family, is to be comfortable where I am now, and to try to grow this company to grow along with it.

Finally further deepen my knowledge of coffee, as the company gives me the opportunity to have in-depth and comprehensive training.

If you don’t mind now, while we’re on the personal side, I would ask if you have any hobbies or passions outside of the coffee shop.

The first hobby is definitely biking-I love it so much and do it constantly from spring to fall. I usually go to the Martesana and ride it all the way to Cassano d’Adda, or I go to Monza or Pavia or however all the most beautiful cities around Milan.

Secondly, I like to bake, especially cakes: muffins are my workhorse. On the savory side, however, I’m putting my money on Cantonese rice, although I’m now specializing in vegetarian meatballs at my wife’s request.

Finally, DIY. It is indeed difficult for me to call a technician to do housework or repair something, I really have to be desperate to do it!

I like Bricolage so much too! Assembling furniture from Ikea is one of the most fun times of the year (yes I am a nerd)!

To conclude, and then I’ll leave you to your work, I would ask you the usual usual questions:

  • What do you like most about Ernani?
  • What would you change instead?

The thing I like most is the Brand and what it wants to communicate: culture.

This is also reflected in the huge variety of coffees available to customers, both for the endless tastings that can be done and the fun of learning about them and selling them.

While, it will go without saying, but I would change the layout of the venue and the customers’ bathroom to some extent, but unfortunately I am equally aware that there are no other solutions…

Yes, that’s right, unfortunately being a historic venue we have our hands tied in 90% of the cases.

However, you also already captured Ernani’s soul: the desire to popularize, the interest in the customer, the energy in innovation, and the desire to experiment.

What can I say Luigi, thank you so much again for your time and for telling us so much about yourself.

I wish you all the best in your future!

See you soon in Torrefazione!

Marketing, E-commerce e Social Media Manager
Coffee Lover


Martina Mazzoleni

Marketing, E-commerce e Social Media Manager Coffee Lover

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