Riccardo Illy & "La Dolce Vita"
"When it comes to pure indulgence, we know that life should be sweet.
In fact, our consumption in the UK of £3.5bn-worth of chocolate each year has led Riccardo Illy (below), president of the Illy Group, to suggest that super-premium chocolate could well be the next luxury disruptor within our economy.
The Italian businessman and politician began his illustrious career with premium coffee making firm Illycaffè in 1977, founded by his grandfather Francesco in 1933. His entrepreneurial spirit saw the group thrive during his tenure as CEO, expanding into 140 countries worldwide. His business acumen and public spirit has also been key to his great success in Italian politics; he has served as Mayor of Trieste (1993-2001), Member of Parliament (2001-2003), President of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region (2003-2008) and President of the Assembly of European Regions (2004-2008).
Illy’s latest passion project is the Illy Group’s Polo del Gusto, which focuses on the ‘disruptive quality’ of the Group’s extra-coffee brands, such as Taittinger champagne, Mastrojanni winery, Dammann Frères teas, Agrimontana jams and chocolatiers Domori and Prestat.
Domori takes pride in producing arguably the finest chocolate in the world, with a mission to preserve the rare Venezuelan cocoa beans it prefers, while chocolatier Prestat – one of London’s oldest chocolate brands and Royal Warrant Holder – has been known for more than 100 years for its high-quality truffles, pralines and other gourmet goodies (top right).
Here, Illy tells Tempus why the universal allure of super-premium chocolate may prove not merely a treat for the taste buds but could, in fact, provide an economic sweetener in the months to come…"
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