Exclusive Brands Torino

Exclusive Talks with
Galup and Arti Grafiche Parini

Speaker: We are in the halls of Palazzo Saluzzo Paesana, a historic building in Turin, dating back to 1722, which in recent years has hosted art exhibitions, concerts, business meetings and congresses.

In today’s conversation, you will hear how art - in all its guises - can be a protagonist; we will talk with Alberto Parini and Stefano Borromeo.

I would like to start off by asking Alberto why art and craftsmanship are two keywords in his company and how they can be reconciled with technology and innovation.

AP

This location inspires me to look back at the last period of normality, because during Artissima in 2019 there was an exhibition by Paolo Cassino for which we produced the catalogue. It takes me back moments of serenity. We were founded as a company preparing systems for printing companies; we made installations for art books. In the Sixties and Seventies, my father started this business: at that time, craftsmanship was the only way - with workers creating a facsimile of an existing print. Let's imagine that the reproductions were made out of photo-colour, from negatives or from existing prints. In this way, operators using acids or in a dark room would have to transform data into the final result. By the end of the 80s and into the 90s,  there was a big technological breakthrough in graphic arts with digital cameras and then with the advent of the Macintosh, so working practices completely changed. We have always been advocates of involving our workforce in corporate technology, because we have always believed that a union between craftsmanship and technology could lead the artisan into the reality of industry. Initially, there was a bit of a struggle on the part of the workforce because they thought that technology was stealing their jobs. In reality, they then realized that, thanks to technology, their way of working and the quality of their workmanship was improving. So, I believe that craftsmanship and technology cannot easily be separated from each other. Technology is good, innovation is good, in our sector the workforce is always the driving-force. 

Speaker

Stefano also deals with an art form - one that turns 100 next year; in fact, it was in 1922 that the panettone with hazelnut glaze was invented, which distinguishes the story of Galup which - as the claim says - is not so much a brand as a story, a beautiful Italian story. I’ll ask him to tell us about this story and how it benefits the brand.

SB

I’d be happy to. For us, it is the greatest resource we have. Everything started with a small oven in the centre of Pinerolo. A Signor Ferrua invented lower panettone with icing, which was unlike the Milanese, which was popular at the time and was a higher panettone without icing.  He said: I'll take it in the upper part of the panettone. And from there, the local people from Pinerolo came to taste it and he asked them what they thought of it  “It’s really ‘galup’”, they said – using the Piedmontese word for ‘delicious’. And so the Galup was born! As the years have gone by,  the company has evolved, improved and grown, but the panettone - the recipe itself - has always remained the same. This is why we are very attached to the history of our recipe: everything comes from that. Obviously, markets have changed. Italy has changed, there have been wars in the midst of it, as well as huge upheavals in market and distribution. The company has been able to reinvent itself while seizing opportunities, despite the fact that competitors have also grown and brand identity has become more diluted.  But the recipe, the choice of ingredients - the Langa hazelnut – has always remained the same. Even today, our panettone is made with fresh yeast, which is a living thing so it is affected by the wind and reacts to outside temperatures. We make three new batches of the yeast every day, even on Christmas and Boxing Day, or even on summer days when we are all at the beach. This is because it is a living thing, made by man that grows according to what is around it. It is an art: you have to know how to knead it, you have to know how to cook it, you have to know how to enrich it with all the selected ingredients: from candied fruit to hazelnuts, from almonds to sugar. We are always selecting the best suppliers of raw materials in order to continually improve.

Speaker

We’ve just heard about ingredients, which surprisingly are also a key element for Parini Graphic Arts. So I’ll ask Alberto how ingredients are important to him, especially at a time when we are very aware of sustainable development.

AP

Our main ingredient is cellulose. We transform paper and cardboard into marketing products, art books and packaging. The cellulose obviously comes from the forest. Paper has recently been somewhat demonized as an advocate of deforestation. In reality, the concept of paper needs to be revamped a little, because paper mills themselves are very attentive to the processes of sustainability. During the first lockdown, we compiled a catalogue about green, sustainable printing. In this publication we tried to identify all the products and manufacturers who forest-friendly. What do we mean by that? It’s those manufacturers who have a certified chain of custody and those forests where to create a kilo of paper, two trees are planted for even one that is cut down. Another way to embrace sustainability is to embrace the circular economy – by making cellulose from waste materials. The combination of these policies has meant that in Europe in the last 15 years, a forest covering an area of ​​about 4 million hectares has been planted, which is an area the size of Switzerland. In this catalogue, we have tried to promote customer awareness by enhancing their green credentials and by inserting certificates at the end of the printout that confirm a lower environmental impact from product manufacture by these customers. 

Speaker

Sensitivity is a recurring theme for both of our guests. Earlier, Stefano spoke to us about the sensitivity of the yeast with respect to those who taste the panettone; but Gallup is also committed to respect and sensitivity towards people. I see on your site that you are attentive to the difference between ‘hearing’ and ‘listening’. So I ask him to tell us a little about the values ​​he wants to convey.

SB

Let’s think about our product; ours is one that is consumed in families at a moment of pleasure - perhaps at the end of an evening when a slice of panettone or a colomba is offered around. We do have other products, but Galup is recognized most for its cakes – the two classics of Christmas or Easter get-together. It is important that when you think about your product -  produce it, study it, develop it -  you imagine there’s a wow-factor for whoever opens it. It’s a moment that cannot be repeated, nor can it be undone and redone – it’s there and then, at that party. When it is unwrapped or opened it has to have the right aroma, so the raw ingredients that have been selected need to give this sense of pleasure, of vanilla; a fragrance, a softness, a colour. And all the senses must be stimulated. For us, achieving excellence is perhaps the greatest challenge of all because the world is constantly evolving. Just as it is for Alberto in his continuous search for the right cellulose materials, for us it is a continuous search for the right taste, because our tastes are no longer the same as they were 10 or 20 years ago.- even in such a short space of time, tastes can change faster than you are able to adapt to them.

Speaker

We have seen that there are many points in common between two very different companies. So I’ll ask both our guests why they have chosen to be part of a network of companies such as Exclusive Brands Torino.

AP

Well, I must say that being included in a group of companies known and recognized in the world for their excellence and traditions is a source of pride for me. Personally, I believe that in addition to the business advantages of being part of a network of companies, it is nice to think we’re part of another ‘family’ of friends. I have friends from the stadium, friends from the theatre and now I also have friends from work with whom I can share my passion for work. Friends who, like me, wake up in the morning with enthusiasm, even in the midst of difficulties and problems. The way we all just get on with things gives me confidence and makes me think that I am not alone in this battle, so long as it is a battle that I feel we’ll win, however tiring it may be. It's nice to be able to think we’re all in it together. I would also like to add my thanks to the Exclusive Brands Torino network in its entirety:  we are a B-2-B company, so we do marketing of other companies and their constant request for content has made me go on an introspective journey into the excellence of my company, which I’d never disclosed before. By encouraging myself to divulge this content, I have realized how much excellence there has been which has not as yet been communicated. So I also thank the network for helping to make us grow as a company through this awareness of excellence.

Speaker

And for you, Stefano?

SB

I can only add that for us it is a source of pride; also because we are in Pinerolo - up there in the mountains. So it brings us a little bit closer to the city too. Above all, what I believe we can do together is to export Made in Italy – with a focus on Turin – all over the world. From my previous experiences, I can say that the world is a big place and there is great strength in unity, so showing up as part of a network of people makes it easier to integrate culturally; because when we think of entering a new market, that means introducing a brand from Turin and therefore expanding our own frontiers. If there are many of us it is much easier because one can help open the door to the others – lending a hand to each other in the process. This is very important, because as the saying goes: ‘unity is strength’.

Speaker

On that note, once again I’d like to thank our two global ambassadors of excellence from Piedmont and Turin: thanks to Stefano and thanks to Alberto.