19 novembre 2022
by Guendalina Dainelli

140 Years of Coffee 

Carolina Vergnano
Carolina Vergnano

She feels at home in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, but she took to the stage in the piazza of Valfenera, Asti, population 2500, to celebrate the 140-year history and four generations of the family business. In a village festival atmosphere, she thanked her 600 guests in Italian and English; customers, suppliers, employees, collaborators and even a Coca-Cola Hellenic delegation from Greece. The evening ended in singing and dancing along with members of the Pro Loco organization and the municipal administration.

Carolina Vergnano, CEO of the oldest Italian roasting companies, transmits energy over the phone. The company’s third production site will open in Valfenera, over a million square feet that will bring life back to an abandoned area, promoting the local economy. Yet, despite its strong roots, the Vergnano family does not like to think of borders, serving coffee in exclusive places like the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah in Dubai, for example.

"We opened our first Café in Oman in 2006; currently, we have eight in Qatar and six in Saudi Arabia. We are in Jordan, and we are about to open in Bahrain, all premium Persian Gulf locations. Although there was a lot of interest in the Italian tradition of drinking espresso at the counter, we realized the importance of local habits and tastes, so we introduced comfortable seats, sofas, and armchairs, menus on the counter, and colorful ideas like cappuccino with hazelnut cream and tiramisu in a glass with an 1882 logo.”

Vergnano Coffee is famous for its aromas of slow roasted beans exported to over 90 countries. A special feminine touch enhances aesthetic details. The historic family home, Vergnano di Chieri Academy, has become a high-level training center for baristas. Carolina, “addicted to coffee” since the age of four, has no doubt about the leadership of women.

"There are many women in my team, and several projects dear to me are dedicated to women, like Women in Coffee, which we developed in collaboration with the International Women's Coffee Alliance (IWCA). Part of the proceeds from the now famous Pink Collection goes to support these projects".

"Our first such project, of great symbolic value, was the donation of a small roasting company to the women of the Dominican Republic community of Hondo Valle, for them to work more productively and resell the product to achieve economic independence. A more recent project we are working on is “the Family Rural Library” for the Marcala community in Honduras. It will be a place where the entire coffee community can share ideas and projects and where children can study, have fun, and be inspired by visions that will broaden their". horizons

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