What would Italy be without coffee, pizza and gelato? Who are the winners of the 2015 BC Italian Business Excellence Awards?
Anticipation has been brewing for months on winners of the 2015 BC Italian Business Excellence Awards. This year’s British Columbia (BC) Italian Business Excellence Awards finally came to a close as deserving winners were recognized for their remarkable achievements in the artistry or promotion of authentic Italian food in Western Canada. Twenty-four nominations were received for three award categories: coffee, pizza and gelato.
“When you think of Italy and artisanship, it’s not only expressed in food products, but also in designs of furniture, shoes, clothing, furnishing and industrial products,” says Celso Boscariol, President of the Italian Chamber of Commerce-Canada at the gala awards dinner organized by the BC Italian Chamber of Commerce-Canada West on May 28th.
Battling for the Best National Drink
What would Italy be without coffee? It’s the country’s national drink. Coffee was imported into Italy by Venetian traders in the early 17th century. The Ethiopians may have discovered the beverage, but it was the Italians who popularized the coffee culture. Italians love their caffeine. A study conducted by Astra Ricerche last year shows 96.5% of Italians ages 18 and 65 drink coffee. Quantity consumed increases with age; 89 % drink coffee at home and 75% in a bar.
Pizza with a Neapolitan touch
Nominees in the pizza category include Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria, Novo Pizzeria & Wine Bar, Pacifico Pizzeria Restorante, Pasta Amore Pizzeria, The Bibo Restaurant and Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana. Topping the nominees is Via Tevere with their Associazone Vera Pizza Napoletana (AVPN) certified pizza made with Neapolitan ingredients of double zero flour, San Marzano tomatoes, fior di latte mozzarella and extra virgin olive oil – and cooked in a traditional wood-fire oven. A family run pizzeria, Via Tevere has won the hearts of serious foodies and critics with their simple, yet flavourful Neapolitan wood-fire baked pizza.
Bella Gelateria Did It Again
It is no surprise that the best gelato award went to Bella Gelateria who outdid its competitors: 49th Parallel, Dolce Amore, Dóro Gelato Caffe and Mario’s Gelati. Bella Gelateria owner, James Coleridge together with protégé Salvatore Boccarossa won the Gelato World Tour North American competition last year with their “Salted Pecan with Montmonency Tart Cherries and Tahitian Vanilla gelato.
In addition to the three awards, two organisations were also honoured for their innovation and marketing accomplishments.
Scuie’s Roman Inspired Brand
Beaming with pride, Davide Bonamici, owner of Scuie took home the President Award for his success in creating an innovative Roman-inspired brand of eateries. Scuie was born out of Bonamici’s aspiration to share his passion and authentic Roman-style food and drink experience with Vancouverites a decade ago.
The company has since expanded to six locations – serving a selection of appealing, mouth-watering Roman cuisine including freshly handcrafted baked goods, pizzas, and beverages in downtown Vancouver.
The ideal introduction to an Italian meal and culture – a slice of wood-fired pizza washed down with a cup of cappuccino or expresso, and finished with a scoop of gelato.
Ferrero’s Sweet Global Success
Event guest of honour, confectionary manufacturer – Ferrero was presented with the Global Success Award for their contribution to the global marketing of Italian products. Receiving the award is Martino Caretto, Director of Institutional Affairs, Ferrero Americas/Australia. Ferrero had its humble beginnings in Piedmont-Italy in 1940. It’s a story of a resourceful and enterprising pastry maker, Pietro Ferrero who used locally grown hazelnuts to create Nutella® (chocolate hazelnut spread) when cocoa was in short supply during World War II.
On his passing in 1949, his son, Michele Ferrero took over the pastry shop – developed Kinder snacks, Tic Tacs and Ferrero Rocher – grew the company to a multinational empire with distributions in 160 countries. The world’s third largest chocolate manufacturer, Ferrero made a pre-tax profit was nearly USD 100 million in 2014 with strong performance in the Asian market.
According to Euromonitor International, chocolate is no longer a confectionery of mass consumption for sophisticated consumers, but rather seen as a symbol of status and a gift favourite in countries like China. “We have 20 production facilities worldwide, and soon 21 with the opening of our Chinese facility. China is the biggest world market for Ferrero Rocher,” says Caretto.