Caffè Vergnano celebrates 140 years of coffee passion, tradition, and love

This year Caffè Vergnano celebrates its 140th anniversary. Over the course of the year, the company builds a story that combines the heritage of a family, its four generations, the power of intuition, and a cup of coffee as a constant that travels through time

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The story of Caffè Vergnano started in 1882 with a small grocery shop that Domenico Vergnano had always dreamt of, where his passion for blends soon became a cult and - most of all - a business. A place where aromas were released, legends were told, beauty was discussed and lasting sincere human relations were established, where there were lots of dreams and a lot of hard work. 

Intuition is always faster than the eye, and it was certainly so in 1930 when Enrico Vergnano, son of Domenico, decided to acquire the first coffee-producing farm in Kenya, a turning point for the family business. In 1970, almost one hundred years later, Carlo and Francesco (Domenico's grandsons), who spent many happy moments in the grocery shop as children, took over the reins of the company leading Caffè Vergnano towards the start of a new era.

In 1986, the acquisition of Casa del Caffé in Turin marked the strengthening of its position in the Horeca world. Moving onto 1996, the borders of Caffé Vergnano extended to the foreign market through an internationalization and development process that enabled the brand to become known in 90 countries. Over the years, Caffé Vergnano has made the coffee culture its life philosophy thanks to its excellent know-how and quality, setting themselves apart from the commercial policies of leading competitors. It is precisely with the arrival of the fourth generation made up of Carolina, Enrico, and Pietro Vergnano that the will to maintain and strengthen the family values with a view to development, especially consolidating the business on emerging and growing markets, became pivotal for the success of the company, which is getting ready to celebrate quite the anniversary.

“We are ‘old’, but we have never felt so young. We have lots of ideas, positive energy, excellent partners but, most of all, lots of friends who show their love for our family and our brand every day. It will be a year to celebrate and to remember because lots of things will happen and will all be inspired by the values, we have believed in during these 140 years, by those feelings that fill our dreams and make them come true. Our gaze is and will always be turned towards the future because tomorrow is still to be built together.” Carolina Vergnano, CEO at Caffè Vergnano.

In front of friends, members of the Italian and international press, clients and distributors from around the globe and partner Coca-Cola HBC, Caffè Vergnano celebrated its 140th anniversary in Valfenera. This small town in the northern region of Piedmont may not be well-known throughout the world, but it is, in fact, home to a business that has stamped its own distinctive style on coffee culture. In the coming days, the company will open a third production unit in Valfenera in what an abandoned neighbourhood was once. The idea behind the project was to regenerate the local area and ensure that future growth is managed in a way that integrates respect for the environment into every possible aspect. This small town less than an hour from Turin not only represents Caffè Vergnano’s future, however, but also its past and its roots. The link is an enduring one that has lasted 140 years, but which promises to continue for many more.

The event was attended by CEO Carolina Vergano and the entire Vergnano family, including the fifth generation. It was an evening of celebration, emotions, memories, and fascinating anecdotes. It also marked the launch of the book “Il Fuoco sotto al Caffè” [The Flame for the Coffee], written by Corriere della Sera journalist Luca Iaccarino and published by Mondadori. "Il fuoco sotto al caffè" represents Caffè Vergnano’s heartfelt wish to thank all those who have been part of that journey. It is a homage to the story of a great family and a passion for the ritual of coffee, passed down through the generations.

Words like environmental and social responsibility have always been what makes Caffè Vergnano stand out and can be found in all the daily actions - both big and small - carried out by the brand: from compatible compostable pods to the recycling and waste reduction processes in addition to waste recovery. When it comes to ethics, Women in Coffee is definitely the project that better illustrated the commitment of Caffé Vergnano. Created in 2018 to support small businesses of women coffee growers, the project keeps evolving and aims at supporting concrete initiatives that focus on women empowerment, inclusion, and respect.

Another key value for the brand is culture, intended as an ongoing growth and improvement process. That is why Accademia Vergnano was set up in the old family home in Chieri, where theory and practical courses are organized for baristas who want to learn all the secrets of the world of coffee and improve their skills.

In 2021, a strategic partnership with Coca-Cola HBC was launched for the exclusive distribution of Caffé Vergnano coffee in Coca-Cola HBC territories outside of Italy. The agreement was an important opportunity for international growth and the development of exports through the strengthening of the company’s presence beyond the Italian borders.

Now that it has reached its 140th anniversary, Caffé Vergnano continues to tackle new challenges that will enable it to write new chapters of a book that will have a lot to tell about this family, its passion for coffee and its great dreams. Despite the challenges, 2021 ended with a total turnover of €92mil, almost reaching that of 2019. In more detail, exports totaled €22.4mil, retail €37.6mil, the HoReCa sector €29.4mil and vending €2.6mil. An ambitious result in such a delicate and uncertain context.

The new year will include 12 months of celebrations, events, surprises, and gifts for all consumers, with the upcoming launch of a limited series of iconic products specially created for the anniversary.