Filotei Group: Our history
Fresh, dried and frozen mushrooms
Company Filotei Group
The tradition of business in the Filotei Family began, in all probability, at the beginning of the twentieth century in Pescara del Tronto: Loreto, Ivo’s grandfather, Luca’s father, sold cattle, hams, truffles and everything that the “norcini” (experts) knew how to value, work and sell in their norcheries (shops in Norcia) and of course on the Roman market. The business was good, so much so that the “lawyer” (as he was one of the few people able to read and write) began to bring little Ivo with him, the first nephew, teaching him along with the endurance of fatigue the art of the sale. It was a question of getting up at night to get to the markets of the Tronto Valley and in the nearby Abruzzo region, buying various cattle, sheep, goats and pigs at profitable prices and going all the way back to Pescara del Tronto. A night of rest and then setting off again to Norcia, pushing the animals up the mountain above Capodacqua, coming down to San Pellegrino, arriving in Norcia and dealing with local merchants. It was not easy. Once the Norcini, to lower the price of truffle pigs, lengthened the times of bargaining. Loreto, in response, sent Ivo to buy a pack of candy: with these he would lead the pigs to a farther market. The buyers, convinced that he would actually do it, surrendered to his requests. Patience, shrewdness and honesty were his best traits: when he went to Ascoli, he often had to deal with administrative bureaucratic matters even for his villagers. They then compensated him with a day’s work on his land.
Loreto’s son, Ercole, didn’t love his father’s bartering and left for America in the twenties. He had been a labourer and bricklayer, and with the “small sum” he had managed to bring back he bought land that he worked with his children. They filled several barrels of “pecorino” (wine today made famous by others), harvested potatoes, beans and vegetables, but old Loreto’s witness, in the business, was picking up his nephew, Ivo. Having learned the art of bargaining from his grandfather, Ivo used to say: “When I negotiate, I can negotiate hard. But when I have said a price, it is that, and I respect it, I never take back my word”. He took pride in defining himself as a “payer”, and he always gave what he had to, without ever getting himself in “a penny of debt”. And he demanded to be treated the same way…but, in business, it is not always easy to meet honourable men. With his bicycle, he went up towards Spelonga, Colle d’Arquata, and turned back loaded with bags of dried mushrooms and truffles. Some of his brothers began to help him out and, in the immediately post war period, merchants from the capital were needed, starting with their Norcia friends who had opened up shop in Rome. In the cellar and the warehouses of the old house hung hundreds of hams for curing: as soon as they were cured they also took the road to Norcia and Rome.
They began marketing the lentil of Castelluccio di Norcia, contributing greatly to its diffusion; they bought whole trucks of artichokes in Puglia and sorted them in the old pasta factory, giving work to all the inhabitants of Pescara.
In the early 60s, Maria Di Giambattista, Ivo’s wife, had arrived from Santa Croce di Cittareale. Her practical skills, concreteness and intuition made her the soul of production, which expanded to a wide range of products in oil, from hors d’oeuvres to eggplants and from mushrooms to various sizes of artichokes.
Ivo and his brother Lino took care of the purchases and the production; the other brothers, Loreto, Alverino and Marino, took care of the sales in Rome. It was a period of great work: mottoes were coined: “If you want to eat the food of the gods, put Filotei products on the table”; “I’m small, I’m delicious, I’m everyone’s favourite” (the lentil of Castelluccio).
Of course, there were difficult times, but the determination and the desire to start again have always characterised this small large company. In the difficulties, Ivo never complained and pleasantly but arrogantly used to repeat: “Do not worry. I pick up a stone, and I find a thousand lire!
“The company then expanded further with the entry of the wives and children of the five brothers and the next step was inevitable the division. Five “Filotei” companies were created, continuing the previous activity and, in part, collaborating. The direct inheritance of the founder, Ivo Filotei, was collected by his son Luca, who considerably modernised the business, with entrepreneurial criteria that lived up to the times. He has also recovered, renovated and expanded a warehouse in the industrial area of Pescara del Tronto, creating a modern plant that gives work to several families in the territory.
The “Filotei Ivo of Filotei Luca” working with the “Filotei Group” introduces new products, sauces and creams to the market, combinging the wisdom of tradition with the imagination of the new generations (“Breed of cooks”, Ivo joked, referring to the family of his wife Maria and, of course, his children, Sestina, Iole and Luca).
The Filotei Group today …
The Filotei Group S.r.l. is one of the most famous and oldest food companies in the province of Ascoli Piceno, dedicated to the marketing and processing of typical food products, especially mushrooms and truffles. The company, located in the territory of the Sibillini Mountains, is one of the most fascinating landscapes in central Italy, where nature still intact, inspires and fascinate us because of the ancient food and wine traditions and the territorial characteristics.
The richness and abundance of these natural products can only represent the best guarantee for the company, which has brought it to produce a wide range of food products, divided into different formats and packages, to satisfy even the most particular needs, in order to cope with the vastness of the market of reference.
Today it carries out an important import-export activity and has developed different markets over the years, such as provisions for specialised stores, MMR, food industries and catering. The certifications obtained by BRC and IFS guarantee, internationally, the quality in the supply chain of products to Mass Market Retailers, based on quality standards that affect the HACCP, the work environment and product and process controls.
…The true taste of tradition
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