At barely twenty years of age, Ambrogio Cagliari left the futureless hard toil of the fields, and got on a boat for South America. In Brazil he found work in the coffee fazendas, first as a simple farm labourer. Thanks to the ability he demonstrated, he was quickly promoted to foreman, and thus learnt the art of selecting, roasting, and blending coffee; skills that would be useful to him in later years. He became an expert, and in 1907 was sent to France by the Brazilian government, to represent and promote Brazilian coffee in Europe.
With his family and children in tow, Ambrogio returned to his homeland and settled in Modena: in Piazza Grande, in the very centre of town and facing its historic cathedral, he opened a coffee roasting and tasting shop in pursuit of the “Grande Torrefazione del Caffè Brasile”. Here coffee, selected and imported directly from Brazil, was roasted, blended, and then grounded and transformed into hot drink. Going to drink a “Brazilian coffee” became a ritual for the young and the old of Modena, who could for the first time experience this fascinating drink.
Having now exceeded the limits of retail sale, his roasting activities were transferred to a specifically designed warehouse, while the grounding, packaging, and direct sale workshop was moved to the nearby Piazza Marconi. By this point, Ambrogio had passed three activities onto his three sons, who managed them together, each of them specialising in a particular sector: Luigi, in particular, was passionate about the art of roasting, a trait passed onto him by his father.
In 1951, the founder, Ambrogio, passed away. However, his sons breathed new life into their father’s company. Having overcome the difficulties of the war, they began to create their first sales network, with agents who distributed Cagliari products to the bars of the province, as far as the Apennines. The packs of coffee were packaged by hand in greaseproof paper. The new cafetiere logo was created, and, due to a careful sales and distribution policy, the Cagliari brand became well-known as a guarantee of quality.
A new spacious plant was opened on Via Emilia Est, which is still the company headquarters, comprising of a sophisticated production department which produced the first vacuum-packed packages.
The three Cagliari brothers eventually went their separate ways, and it was Luigi, along with his young son Alberto, to take over the Via Emilia Est company, its trade name, the registered trademark, and the Caffè Cagliari emblem. Very soon, commercial success allowed the Cagliari company to establish itself as the main coffee roasting plant in the province and beyond, due to a branched sales network, and an already vast range of products dedicated both to domestic and professional consumption.
Left alone after the passing of his father Luigi, Alberto transformed Caffè Cagliari into a joint-stock company, and became its only and dynamic manager. Investing in research and innovation, although always fully respecting tradition, he was able to make the company the unarguable leader in Emilia Romagna and surrounding areas, with a widespread presence in LDCs, and thousands of clients in the HO.RE.CA. sector, thanks to the work of his prepared and devoted team of agents.
To improve the legibility of the company logo in the new areas and markets of expansion, the old logo of the traditional cafetiere, widely recognised and successful within the zones of greatest diffusion, was subjected to a slight and winning restyle, handled by Alberto’s daughter, Alessandra, who is mainly involved in communication, image, packaging, and events.
An innovative new bag with a special high-pressure valve was introduced for the packaging of the coffee beans, specifically designed for professional sector: a simple and natural method for locking in all the natural aroma of the coffee, and conserving the beans for as long as possible in their ideal environment. This was an important choice that has involved large production and distribution investments, which have however been fully compensated by a fantastic in-cup result and excellent production continuity In the same year, the “School of Coffee” training and company culture centre was opened.
On the significant 100th anniversary of the founding of roasting activities, Caffè Cagliari has opened up to foreign markets in order to export exclusively high-quality coffee, in accordance with the company 100 year old tradition. It was during the celebrations for the company anniversary that the “Coffee Machines” museum was officially opened, representing the major and comprehensive display of coffee machines in the world, spanning from the early 1900s to the present.