For your reading

Guido Martinetti

OPEN WINDOWS | BY HEERA

January 1st, 2011

 

In a world accosted with mediocrity, friends and business partners, Guido Martinetti and Federico Grom have engineered their reputation on an uncompromising commitment to excellence, and Grom, their gelato business, wears this signature. At the forefront of my conversation with Guido Martinetti, at his farm, Mura Mura, Costigliole d’Asti, Italy, stands quality—in nature, farming and relationships.

 

Guido, thank you for having me on your beautiful farmTell me, why gelatos? And where did it all begin?

Yes, it’s very, very easy. I love sweets, but I am also a little different; I like to run and swim, and they are philosophical kind of efforts because I love to stay alone, and it’s like yoga—

 

Meditative?

Exactly, exactly. I always say running and swimming is like yoga—you analyse yourself, and you analyse life. So when I run and swim, I don’t need a sweet dish. But if I don’t run or swim, I need sweets. When I was younger, my favourite sweet was ice cream.

While in school, I read an article in the Turin newspaper La Stampa that said, except for a shop in Orvieto [Umbria], no one made gelato the natural way, without preservatives, without added colours, and without any aroma. So I went to Orvieto with my girlfriend, and we tasted the gelato, and I remember this gelato clearly. My girlfriend took the melon flavour, and I said, “No, how can you choose melon flavour?” I love chocolate and pistachio. Well, I took two flavours, and she took two. And I tasted her gelato; it was real melon! And I said, “The article is true!” So this hit me. But I didn’t think of it as work.

 

The gelato left a positive impact.

Exactly, exactly. And though Federico was a friend of mine since high school, we only got to know each other well when we served together in the Army.

 

It’s interesting how certain people weave in and out of our lives at the right time.

A lot. I talk about luck a lot. And I reflect on this a lot, exactly like you say. I was in the wine business, and later, when Federico was working as a financial manager for a company, I took some wine for him, for his company. And we were talking about doing things like two regular guys, 26 and 27 years old. That’s when I told him about the article in La Stampa and that maybe we could make the best gelato with the best ingredients in the world; it was a quick dialogue. After ten days, Federico called me back and said: “Guido, we must meet.” By then, I had forgotten all about the gelato.

I said: “Federico, what’s happening?” Federico came with 60 pages of study about the world of gelato and said: “This is what I studied in these ten days,” and he showed me a business plan to make gelato. Keep in mind that the gelato business was approachable because it was a very small shop, just 30 meters. And we needed little money to start; if the business required a big investment, it would have been impossible for us.

You can have an image of our personalities—Federico is constant and focused, and I am more about the ideas, the originality. If I hadn’t met Federico, my idea would have just remained an idea. I am conscious that Federico took that idea and made my idea a reality.

 

I admire your graciousness. I am sure Federico feels the same about you. It also pushes you to be your best at all times, right?

Exactly. And so now when I talk more and more about luck, it’s true. When you are 35 like Federico and me, and when you build a company yourself, with more than 500 employees, you feel a lot of responsibility for many people, which is why I wake up early in the morning the reason I look for excellence. If I can look for excellence, I think many people enjoy it in different ways.

We must dream every day.

LOGIN TO READ.