Spice of life
From its humble beginnings, Drogheria & Alimentari has built an unequalled reputation in the world of spices and herbs
The origin of the company stretches to as far back as 1880 when it was first established in Florence specialising in spices imported directly from various countries of origin. It was in 1987, following a take over by the Carapelli/Barbagli family, when the company changed its name to Drogheria & Alimentari (loosely translated as Grocery & Food). The new owners had visions for the company and were determined to ensure the Drogheria & Alimentari name was not only on the map, but also on everyone’s lips as the name to trust in the world of spices.
When the company was first established, the city of Florence was viewed as the perfect location as it had established itself in the arts, banking and trade sectors, where spices were considered among the most important ‘merchandise’. The importance of spice was not to be underestimated, especially when it made it into the art of the apothecaries. In the historical centre of Florence, there was even a street dedicated to this trade and, developed through the centuries, the activity of apothecaries became the tradition of the city of Florence. It was on this very street in 1880 when the business of grocery and food was ventured into with the first opening of Bottega delle Spezie, or ‘Spice Shop’.
The launch of this business spelt the start of something major because within a few years, it was already experiencing significant growth and development. Benefiting from the thorough knowledge of herbs and spices gathered through the years, the business was rapidly establishing strong contacts in the retail trade and import of the raw materials. With the aim of launching the company forward to meet the modern consumer’s expectations, Drogheria & Alimentari underwent a major marketing programme aimed at enhancing the packaging both in terms of functionality and aesthetics while always guaranteeing the unrivalled quality it has become renowned for. Over the years, the company has fine-tuned its offerings to satisfy even the most sophisticated of needs.
Today, Drogheria & Alimentari’s worldwide bestselling range of spices, aromatic herbs and exquisite blend of fragrances from the Mediterranean area are bottled in innovative and patented spice grinders – attractive glass jars with a built-in grinder on top. The company has always believed in guaranteeing its consumers superior quality, which is also why it preserves the whole form of spices and herbs in these spice grinders because grinding them directly just before consuming grants the maximum of their aroma intensity. Not only is quality never compromised this way, but a survey has proven to Drogheria & Alimentari that consumers value the convenience and easy-ofuse highly too. Its wide assortment includes traditional pepper varieties (black, white and green), spicy classics (chilly, Indian and exotic mixes), typical Mediterranean aromatic herbs (basil, garlic, parsley, Tuscan herbs), very refined blends of flavours (Provence herbs, cinnamon and sugar), and also ready-made recipes from the best Italian cooking tradition like pesto Genovese, mix for meat barbeque, Porcini mushrooms and parsley.
Living up to its name, Drogheria & Alimentari was soon expanding its portfolio into adjacent markets including products like cakes. This move saw the company grow significantly and it wasn’t long before its production facility was no longer able to cope with the rising demands. In order to keep up with the rise and the forecast of further growth, the company decided to construct new air-conditioning and packaging units.
Equipped with state-of-the-art technologies such as positive pressure systems that prevent contamination and a laboratory for testing the products and its quality, the plant also has a fully automated store that is ideally located near a major highway junction ensuring rapid and efficient deliveries. The new plant, located in Florence in San Piero, has a total area of 34,000 sq m and is among the largest and most sophisticated packaging site for herbs and spices in Europe.
Over the years, Drogheria & Alimentari has dedicated all its efforts to ensuring it is always able to offer its consumers authentic herbs and spices that have been prepared and packaged to high standards. It strongly believes the investment injected into the new site not only signifies its culmination of a fascinatingadventure in the exotic world combined with the magic touch of spices, but also its commitment to meet the challenging and exciting global market as it continues to lead the journey through ‘all flavours of the world’ that was successfully embarked upon by the modest Bottega delle Spezie in 1880. Whilst existing alongside some strong competitors in the industry, Drogheria & Alimentari has earned an unequalled reputation and its name is today synonymous with the ‘Ferrari’ of spices.