Who we are
Three different experiences for one project dedicated to coffee
A job, a passion
We are a team of specialists in the trading, selection and transportation of raw coffee, based in one of the historic ports of this precious raw material: Genoa. We were born and raised in the world of raw coffee, which has become our passion and profession. Market knowledge, exclusive access to the best supplies, total control of the supply chain and stable cooperation with one of the most important shipping companies in the international arena are the characteristics that make us immediately recognizable. Then there are the traits that are familiar to the small, large roasters who have chosen to work with us: trust, transparency, flexibility.
There is a history of coffee that begins in the highlands of Ethiopia and develops in medieval Yemen and, then, in the court of Constantinople and then lands in Europe among the great cafes of Venice and Paris before moving to the coffee houses of New York. Then there is another, more recent history that has brought coffee into our homes, in the form of espresso or other ways of extraction, and that today makes it a beverage found on every continent. Whichever way you want to look at it, this story is grafted onto a web of trade, ships plying the Oceans, Commodity Exchanges. For before coffee is a beverage with more than 150 different flavor profiles, it is a raw material that is sold in international markets, moves today in containers, yesterday in sacks, and has a price that varies according to the law of supply and, in part, demand. Our company’s history begins in the very world coffee market that crosses continents to land on the docks of the port of Genoa, where much of the raw beans bound for Europe used to and still do pass through. Although the Omnicaf company has been in existence for only a few years, more exactly since June 16, 2014, the members have been involved in the world of coffee sorting and trading, trading and logistics for decades.
From planting to storage, we take care of everything
I started out as a sub-boarder, responsible for the proper separation of cargoes, at a time when ships loaded with coffee were stationed outside the harbor and unloading onto barges near the hauls. Most of the coffee arrived at Eritrea Bridge, Old Pier and the Cotton Warehouses. Containers were not made like today, but arrived in bags stowed by destination. Behind the warehouses were four railroad platforms where wagons bound for the various interports were stationed. Before having the loads moved, we were responsible for separating it by brand and destination, marking country of origin and batch, and checking quality and impurities. My adventure in the world of coffee began this way, with my hands in the sacks. This allowed me to learn about coffee from all over the world in the field, learn how to distinguish it, learn the secrets of the market, and forge relationships with the world’s leading traders. Here, what was the work of a nineteen-year-old boy has turned into the passion of a lifetime that we all share at Omnicaf.
“I spent my life among coffee sacks, so I knew the scents of the world.”
I was born into the world of logistics, warehouses and ports. For me, from a very young age, travel was part of everyday life. In fact, my family has been involved in shipping since the postwar period, in plying the routes between Genoa and the ocean, and today is one of the oldest international shipping houses. My native language is Italian, but also French, English, Spanish, Portuguese. The coffee was for years the one taken at the airport. Then the meeting with Giorgio, the long discussions about coffee, the tastings, and the intuition that this could be an interesting terrain from both a cultural and business point of view. Today I walk the plantations to find the best coffees in the world, look into the eyes of the producers, take in the soil. I learned that coffee is a meeting of different elements, that this ability to differentiate itself could become the element to focus on from an entrepreneurial point of view as well. A concept of product and service quality that represents our philosophy at Omnicaf.
Today I walk the plantations to find the best coffees in the world, looking into the eyes of the producers, selecting those beans that are one of our distinguishing features.
I came to Omnicaf just after graduating with a degree in Communication Studies catapulted into a world I knew nothing about. In fact, I didn’t even drink coffee before because like almost everyone else I didn’t know him. Or at least I knew only one version of it, stereotyped. Then, being with Giorgio and Roberto, it was impossible not to become passionate. I realized that I was not dealing with a simple drink but with a real world where each country, each crop, makes a different contribution. For an avid traveler like me, it was a real discovery. Today at Omnicaf, I am in charge of all the back office stuff, but I can’t wait to pick up my bags and go visit coffee territories that are also fortunate enough to coincide with some of the most beautiful countries in the world.
There is not one coffee, but as many coffees as there are producers and vintages. Its charm is right here, in this undiscovered richness.