Gaetano Aiello was born in Cosenza in October 1931.
As a young boy, he burned with curiosity for the world around him: he wanted to explore, understand, and discover absolutely everything. A thinker, he was a kind soul but something of an extrovert too, who always wore a smile. In a nutshell, even from a very young age, Gaetano already had the makings of the innovator he would become.
His approach to innovation was extremely methodical, but he also thought out of the box and was seldom dissuaded from following his dreams. And then there was his astute business sense. Even as a teenager he demonstrated a natural talent for marketing. The budding entrepreneur inside him thought big, but always moved forward with his feet firmly planted on the ground.
Gaetano Aiello’s character is reflected in the company
Today, if Caffè Aiello is a company that contributes to making Italy one of the world’s finest havens for excellent food and drink, it’s thanks to Gaetano, who founded, developed and then handed it down through the generations, first to his children and then to his grandchildren, establishing the corporate ethics with which to handle its business, partners and sales intermediaries, as well as its collaborators and customers.
Left and right, his two sons: Guerino and Emilio
Today, in 2021, we’ve reached the third generation of Aiello entrepreneurs at the company’s helm.
And throughout its many ups and downs – because history has taught us that every big company experiences rough waters but, once the storm dies down, they become stronger than ever – it has always been thanks to Gaetano that what was once an artisan roasting house has become a famous Mediterranean company.
A company that embodies all of his character, representing and resembling him as if it were one of his daughters. A company which, just like Gaetano, never rests on its laurels, constantly looking ahead to whatever is on the horizon next. An innovative company, but one that treads carefully, firstly out of respect for its own long history, then above all for those who work there – some have done so for years, some for not so long -, with great devotion and harmony.
Gaetano Aiello’s propensity for business has always had an international vocation. For him, exporting the excellence offered by Calabria was the next, natural phase of the company’s pathway of success.
He saw it as a mission. And just think how much society has changed since then…
Gaetano himself, just before founding the company in the 1960s, could certainly never have imagined the extent to which the fields of IT, technology and infrastructure would go on to evolve, enabling the foreign channels he had opened to multiply and become super-efficient. Or how fast his products would be able to travel around the world. And we’re sorry and sad that he’s no longer around to hear us tell him what a web store is and how, through internet, we are now capable of entering every household around the world. Of course, he would have definitely picked us up on something, anything at all, but then he would have made us happy with a long-awaited “Well done! Bravi!” said with pride.
The man behind a Calabrian business success story
In 1967, Gaetano Aiello, true coffee lover, decided to turn his passion into a profession, the profession of a businessman.
He then founded our company, which produces coffee blends, calling it Industria Caffè Aiello Gaetano. Gaetano Aiello was always personally responsible for sourcing, selecting, studying, and deciding how to process the raw coffee beans he used to make unique, recognisable blends with an unmistakeable flavour.
From the very beginning, he realised that each type of carefully selected bean needs to follow a specific roasting process. And for many years now, Caffè Aiello has been using a medium roast, which the company considers the kind most capable of respecting and enhancing the raw material without compromising its organoleptic properties.
The story of our company is the story of a Calabrian business which, like many others, had to struggle to make a name for itself when it first started up. Because the territory, the institutions and the mindset of yesteryear did not look kindly on dreamers, not even the more practical and stable variety, like our founder, Gaetano Aiello.
And yet, since the year of its foundation, Caffè Aiello has succeeded in gaining more and more space on the table of the Calabrian people, not to mention an extra-special place in their hearts. Until 1983, the bean roasting phase was performed using an oak wood roaster. A production process based on ancient tradition, not only capable of conveying professionalism in the product, but also of packing it with infinite passion, the same passion that customers and employees say they still feel today.
In 1984 Gaetano Aiello opened a new plant
In those years he made the following, precious observation:
“Every Caffè Aiello blend is made using a specific, dedicated roasting procedure.
Our standards are sky high, so we must constantly pursue and develop the commitment required to make our coffee. However, the satisfied faces of our collaborators and customers make it all worthwhile and urge us to continue on this journey of ours, with those who wish to follow us forever by our side.”
The new factory, with its new machinery, intensified the production, while respecting the times of the raw material, carrying forward the quality of a real Italian espresso coffee and accurately meeting the demands of a challenging market that continues to grow and develop new requirements. And here at Aiello, we like a challenge…
Before opening the factory, Gaetano Aiello made many trips to South America and Asia. He wanted to choose the best raw material personally and get to know its producers face to face. He continued to travel for his beloved coffee for as long as he could, and we now do the same, proud to follow in his footsteps.
In the 1990s, the production for the hospitality industry was developed and the product portfolio was expanded to include vacuum-packed ground coffee for the moka pot.
His lips were sealed
Gaetano Aiello’s lips were sealed: he wouldn’t have said a word, because his motto was “Do good deeds in silence”. We, on the other hand, are truly honoured and proud to commemorate the support he always offered to his community on a personal level: he would regularly help the neediest members of society financially, make generous donations to hospitals and no profit associations, and lend his support to the world of sport. These actions were the foundations on which our company’s Corporate Social Responsibility has been built over time.
Gaetano Aiello passed away on 10 March 2003.
A great loss for us, and for all those who knew him.
We hope that our strong commitment and innovative approach to the market will always honour the generous heart of our founder, and live up to his expectations for us, and for the company going forward.