Cipriani Food

The frequencies of simplicity, the precepts of lux

Cipriani is one of the longest-standing companies specialised in the food sector. Not just an interesting entrepreneurial history, but also a historical fabric closely linked with the evolution of Italian and international traditions.

Tell us about Cipriani’s history

How was the company founded? Hemingway was one of the 20th century’s most important writers. He lived through the short century from the Cuban seas to the cafés of Venice. From the lagoon to the court of the Chinese emperors, from Marco Polo to Peggy Guggenheim. Venice has always been a cosmopolitan city with deep roots. Over the centuries it fell and rose up again by always taking on challenges as an opportunity. Today’s global crisis calls for a change of perspective, where mankind, just as in Hemingway’s novels, goes back to being at the centre of the balance. Contact with nature, healthy food, resilient cities. Everything goes back to giving a meaning to what’s important, to encounters, sharing and beauty. This is the context where Cipriani Food’s world developed. The precepts of luxury go back to the frequencies of simplicity and minimalism – as in the case of Harry’s Bar. The evenings of Hemingway and Gianni Agnelli, Bellini and Carpaccio. This spirit of familiarity, various tender moments, journeys of the heart, languid glances, softly spoken words made a piece of Venice’s history. It was the 13 of May 1931 when Giuseppe Cipriani first opened the doors of his venue, still unaware of the significance and importance that this simple café would have over the years.

Harry’s Bar

What has this venue represented in your view? Figures of the calibre of Gary Cooper, Katharine Hepburn, Joe di Maggio, and of course Hemingway, have sat at Harry’s Bar counter. Harry’s Bar has not just made the history of Italy, but also the professional history of a family. That experience which made the difference led to the whole experience of the Cipriani family. It is no chance that in 2001 the venue was declared a national heritage site by the Italian Cultural Heritage Ministry.

A history spanning across four generations

What happened next? What led you to become what you are now? It was 1983 and the company has never stopped ever since. Four generations who have handed down a single set of values: quality catering, customer satisfaction, refinement and essentiality. The Cipriani family is bound to its land – Venice – by a bond of roots, relationships, synergies and a sense of belonging. This is where the family’s business was created. After 50 years in the food sector, after learning about all the possible facets to catering and quality food, came Cipriani Food.
What has been the significance of the figure of Arrigo Cipriani? Rather than an entrepreneur, Cipriani is an almost-90-year-old ambassador of great success stories based on extensive knowledge of gastronomic culture and hospitality. From the labs where pasta, bread and sweet products for restaurants are produced, everything “made at Cipriani Food” is created with an eye to tradition and quality, especially thanks to Cipriani’s work. What is Cipriani Food now? Cipriani Food is a company that innovates and redefines itself. There is something revolutionary in the concept of luxury. The luxury of simplicity, a sort of payoff of the whole industry of Italian-made goods. While elsewhere luxury is ostentation, baroque, richness, pomp, distance between people and social classes, for Italians luxury is the search for simplicity. And seeking simplicity, modernising it – even before innovating it – is extremely difficult.
While, on the one hand, tradition and experience define the managerial pace and entrepreneurial decisions of Cipriani Food, on the other hand this company has an open approach to the market: restyled and redefined, it has opened up its doors to newly-recruited young people and implemented new management programs in daily tasks. A successful mix since 2018, when our turnover was around € 1.5m and is expected to be € 8.5m in 2021 with the hiring of 14 new employees. It is as if Cipriani Food, drawing strength from its Venetian roots, found inspiration for its future.
Only those who consider beauty a tangible, measurable, concrete value are able to do so. Those who, like Cipriani Food, draw a lesson from it. Meticulous attention to quality, to preserving traditions that – for all the innovations required to develop the business – are still those dating back to 80-90 years ago, to the culture of ‘soundness’. As firm as the pastry rolled out back then by Arrigo Cipriani’s mother, as sound as economy founded on beauty. With their extensive experience in catering and hospitality, they created their online shop, where thanks to innovation traditional Italian products reach the tables of tables of bon viveurs. Cipriani Food has about 60 products in its online showcase and is world-renown for standing out in the production of handmade egg pasta and the art of cocktails, a cornerstone in Harry’s Bar’s history and in the world of Cipriani Food.