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Grondona – Made in Italy

Biscottificio Grondona: 200 years of Made in Italy goodness

It recently passed the two-century mark and, with the sixth generation of the family at the helm, continues to produce traditional biscuits made with simple, quality ingredients.

reading time5 minutes

‘Vermicelli manufacturer since 1820’: this is how Giuseppe Grondona signed his name. He started his business as a miller in the early 19th century, beginning what was to become one of the longest-lived family businesses in Italy. Soon, Giuseppe started the pasta-making business, producing mainly vermicelli, to make use of the flour with which he was paid by the farmers who went to his mill to grind wheat.

However, it was his son Francesco who officially started the family business, specialising in bread and pasta production at the end of the century, while it was with Orlando, Francesco’s son, that the business turned decisively towards confectionery. It was, in fact, Orlando, who studied sourdough and malted biscuits, who started baking the ‘Lagaccio biscuits’. These biscuits were produced as early as the end of the 1500s and owe their name to a district of Genoa where there was a reservoir that was used to feed the gunpowder factories.

The connection with the territory

However, the Lagaccio biscuits, also appreciated by Giuseppe Garibaldi, are only the first product of the tradition that Orlando recovers. Soon, production will also include ‘biscotti della salute’, light biscuits made only with sourdough and without brewer’s yeast.

It’s the early decades of the 20th century, and a large part of Orlando’s business consisted of Genoese housewives telling him the recipes for typical sweets, recipes that he wrote down in a black notebook. This notebook became very important for the Grondona family tradition and is still treasured by the family today!

The tradition begins with a symbolic image

With the fourth generation of the family, represented by Orlando’s son, Francesco, other traditional Genoese products joined the Lagaccio biscuits. Thus, canestrelli and pandolci came out of the Grondona oven. During this period, the symbolic image of the ‘old man and the little girl’ also appeared, which represents the value of family tradition and of a product that can accompany people throughout their lives. In 2020, on the occasion of the company’s bicentenary, this image was also used for a stamp issued by the Italian Postal Service to mark the important anniversary.

Industrial production, artisan care and quality

While everything has evolved with the industrialisation of production, the focus on quality and care in choosing ingredients has remained the same. The only yeast used is sourdough; no brewer’s yeast is used. Each batch of butter is checked. The hazelnuts come directly from Piedmont, and the pine nuts used are the long ones from Pisa. Lemon flavouring is made by squeezing citrus fruits directly in the factory; raisins are hand-selected, and dyes and preservatives are banned. All in the name of care and quality.

Acquisitions and awards

The company also grew through acquisitions (Bonifanti, Duca d’Alba, and Bocchia) and opened a series of shops and pastry shops in Piedmont called ‘100% Fabbriche Dolciarie’.

Grondona, with its 204-year history as a family business, has also been a member of the prestigious ‘Les Henokiens’ club since 2021. Only family businesses with more than two centuries of activity are admitted to this club. Today, the production site is a high-tech, state-of-the-art facility of over eight thousand square metres. Family tradition is thus combined with technology, craftsmanship and widespread distribution. Grondona, led by CEO Francesco Grondona, sells in 25 countries. Recently, its ‘Cuor di biscotti’ were chosen and produced exclusively for the Telethon Foundation to support research into rare genetic diseases.

Congratulations to those who believe in tradition and research and bring Italy to the world!

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