By Sofia Celeste, Baco Luxury chief editor.
Perugia, Italy — With an Italian nonna as the testimonial of this budding ecommerce site that sells everything from Umbrian truffles to Sicilian sea salt, ByItaly is riding the culinary wave that has proclaimed Italian cuisine Emperor of all foods.
It all happened one night at a barbeque at Michele Trogger’s farm stay bed and breakfast, dotted with hundreds of fertile olive trees. The four men, in their 30’s, decided that night to form a business that four year later would export the best of Made in Italy foods to faraway lands like India, Australia and the United States.
Today Leonardo Papini, Daniele Fantigrossi , Michele Trogger and Giovanni Belia want to market themselves like an online, unencumbered Eataly of sorts.
Part of their business model even includes the opportunity to rent an olive tree on Trogger’s estate “Cresta Verde,” which boasts remnants of the Etruscan civilization.
For about EUR180 clients are entitled to about 4.5 litres of grade A Umbrian olive oil with shipping included. “We think that shipping should be included. It comes right to your door anywhere in the world,” Belia said.
Trogger, the mastermind of the operation, continues to woo pilgrims with his cuisine – finger foods like bruschetta slathered in chicken liver and ribs – which is as relaxed as his quick dry surf shorts, shaved head and whimsical tattoos – a look he perfected after working at a restaurant in Australia.
Papini, a graffiti artist and graphic designer and former rugby player has rights to Nonna Anna, the grandmother that helped raise him and who at 80 years old is not only the brand’s model but also the quality controller. She continues to stun the boys with her recipes for battered squash veggies and coniglio in salmi’, a dish she slow cooks for two days with heart and soul.
“Nonna Anna taught us to imagine what the possibilities could be,” Papini said.