I TRE CAPI
My business is a family business; developed from my grandparents who were farmers. First sharecroppers and then they developed into direct farmers of their own lands. My parents then became farm owners too. Their farm consisted of the same land as my grandparents and mainly suited to the cultivation of vegetables.
The company, was formed initially by my grandparents, was passed down to me from my parents’ when they retired. I decided to expand and added land and resources to the company which was previously developed directly beside me which was suited to olive groves.
My enterprise developed from the result of merging two rural nuclei. One located in the area of Val di Chiana, in a province of Siena, from my grandparents and the other located in the hills of Montepulciano directly created by me for my development in olive farming.
I decided to specialize and cultivate the “Aglione” which is special kind of garlic found in the Val di Chiana countryside that has big cloves and a sweet flavour to taste. From the comparison with other local producers my idea to specialize was born.
I worked with the association for the protection and enhancement of biodiverse products, to help revalue and develop an almost forgotten product, that yields a vast amount of nutritional and health properties. This developed and it was decided to transform the product and market the processed products directly to the consumer, with a shorter supply chain as this gave the product a competitive edge in the market. To date we are expanding in local markets and further due to our online market.
What has been the biggest challenge you have overcome or lesson you have learnt as a female food entrepreneur?
The biggest rock I found has been in being “woman” and still is today, merging work with family life management along with culture norms provide many pressures and challenges. From this experience I have learned a lot and I am continuously learning that with commitment and sacrifice, it’s possible to manage work and still be present for my family needs.
If there was training available for you before you set up your business would you use it, or did you do any training.
Before I started my social farm, I took part in an apprenticeship program in a cheese factory in Italy.
If you were interested in engaging with training/further training what areas would be of most interest to you?
If I could I would have a specific training to help in the economic planning of my business. Currently, I proceed by challenging myself and my ideas with the trade association to which I adhere to and communicate with, while receiving advice from the banks and ultimately trusting my own decisions. My business is growing in comparison to other similar business peers that I network with during seminars promoted by the trade association.