Sicily 1870. The bracing air of early morning is enriched with intense fragrance in via Garibaldi where the little shop of colonial products and tobacco radiate light and aromas onto the street.
On the pavement, Domenico Barbera is roasting coffee in a small roaster, he does this every day with the meticulousness of the Piemontese, which still lives inside him, and with the cheerfulness of the Mediterranean people, which by this time he felt he had become.
Domenico, "the magician", as his affectionate customers nicknamed him, saw for himself the growth of his children and his small business alike.
The new coal-fired roaster, with the mythical name "Tornado", which could roast even thirty kilos of coffee at a time, was the pride and joy of the Barbera family.
Oh yes, it is indeed a business, but one day in 1903, Domenico "the coffee magician", who was not yet seventy, died of a sudden illness and then during the earthquake of 1908, one of his two sons lost his life.
The whirlwind emotions of these events, which occurred with such a cruel succession, enriched and strengthened Antonio, Domenico's son, who, left all alone, continued to develop the business, making a real and active industry.
The quality, the careful management and image, are just some of the components that favour success; in the period between the two world wars, the magician's coffee was the most drunk in Southern Italy.
The severe destruction caused by bombing did not fold the iron will to revive the business and Antonio rebuilt it.
In 1947, Antonio with his son Letterio, opened a new factory in Naples. This factory in the Naples area represents a risk taken and won against all odds, being successful where coffee is history and culture, where coffee was literature in the liberty-style cafes and of which the memory has not been forgotten, is indeed a near impossible act.
At the end of the day this bet was a winning bet.
In 1951 Letterio created the Milan branch; the distribution force was enlarged by a network of dealers all over Italy, and so the famous Barbera coffee could be enjoyed everywhere.
In 1953 the research and development era began in the Barbera company; The transation from handicraft to industry required a new approach; how to control product quality, to improve processes and to develop new products.
Carmelo, on returning from the U.S.A., where he had taken a Masters in Chemical Engineering at Columbia University (NY), established a chemical laboratory alongside the factory.
The aim was to update the productive processes of the company on a scientific level. This simple perception demonstrated very quickly how the origin of scientific activity diversified, including basic research and application of this in productive technology field. In the effort to cooperate with the international coffee community, impressive results were published in scientific magazines.This was the first coffee laboratory in Italy.
In 1999 Barbera acquired the Tris Caffè brand to gain a larger share of the national market. In 2002 Barbera created its first coffee menu: the winning idea was to use espresso coffee as a basic ingredient to be served in eighteen flavoursome ways. In 2003 it launched a new challenge: a unique concept called the Cafè Barbera and opened the first Cafè Barbera in Dubai. During these years Barbera Caffè expanded the business at the global level.
Today, the coffee magician Barbera, a joint-stock company since 1978, distributes its products all over Italy as well as to 35 countries over 5 continents. In addition, the Company has been the recipient of several awards for its outstanding quality. However, the most important award achieved to date has been the unconditional approval of its customers.