Ah Antonio…

I've long been a fan of Carluccio's food store & cafe and was so pleased to secure an interview on my last trip.  Emma Woodford looks after the brand, product development, buying, retail campaigns and shop displays (ooh what a fabulous job - and not one she was offering to give up either - despite my pleading!).  Whilst it has been a couple of months since we chatted (and I don't have my notes on hand whilst taking a family break here in "raining raining raining, could it rain any more?" Brisbane) I concluded that everything I had assumed about the brand was indeed true.

Product integrity, sourcing small artisan producers throughout Italy to make exclusive products for the Carluccio's label, respect for the  relationship with suppliers, taste/flavour above all else and campaigns that celebrate the seasons is what the brand ethos was when Antonio and Patricia started the business ten years ago and it remains integral today. Emma and I also had an interesting discussion regarding time, and how interesting it would be that, if in addition to ingredient labelling, the time taken to produce artisan product was also included on packaging. Given that so much of their beautiful products are bespoke, small batch and made by hand by very small businesses it would further justify the pricing (which was not unreasonable at all according to me)...  and of course the flavour. Rounding out the Carluccio's experience is their use of various artists and illustrators to produce packaging and seasonal campaigns. The Christmas 2010 printed gift catalogue was just divine (and back in October how did they know it was going to be the whitest of White Christmases in the UK?!) A big thank you to Jo Aspin who looks after Carluccio's PR for taking the time to organise this opportunity for me.

Carluccio's Food London