Thursday, 19 June, 2014
One of the main sponsors to the WBC event is Nuova Simonelli. They have a long history with the competition and one could say that they have experienced amazing growth through this association.

One of the machines from the WBC 2010 held in London, Michael Phillips won this particular event.

Their obligation as machine sponsor is to provide espresso machines in as many countries as possible that participate at WBC. That’s 54 countries and a whole lot of dosh, which takes a lot of dedication to this event. Kudos to you, Simonelli!

Last year the factory we visited produced around 22 000 machines. That’s 60 machines a day. Unbelievable, and very impressive, especially when you consider the modest size of the factory and the fact that they only make on order, so there is no stored stock, every machine has a home in mind when it is being assembled.

Beautiful setting in the Marche region of Italy

We started at the administration hub, where we were taken in to the showroom which contained machines dating back to the first in their history. We were given an explanation about how the first espresso machines worked. The machines are stylistically typically Italian, the designs range from the sublime to the so-kitsch-you-must –have-one variety. A picture is worth a thousand words in this case…

Some of the oldest Victoria Arduino espresso machines, dating back to 1912.

Is there any explanantion necessary for the espresso machines borne of the 70's and 80's?

Is it from outer space? No, it's a Theresia from Victoria Arduino! The WBC Champ, Hide Izaki got to take one of these home with him.

We then headed to the factory.

Mauro was our guide, he is the factory manager and knows everything that happens within the factory walls. It was very interesting to hear the way that the machines are produced based on the tennants of Quality, Flexibility and Cost. This is a well-oiled machine! One of my favourite practices of this factory is the Box of Ideas. Instituted in 1992, the company invited it's employees from every sector to put forward ideas to better the quality, flexibility and cost of the machines and each year the person who supplies the best idea wins a trip to London! How's that for incentive!

Mauro, he keeps things running smoothly aboard this very tight ship!

The production lines are swift and effective.

An audience with James Hoffman and The Black Eagle followed. You can read and watch more about that here.

To keep up with the obvious demand, they are building another factory space alongside their existing building. Cosimo explained to us they couldn’t miss the opportunity to have all their friends be a part of their new endeavor, so all present were asked to sign a piece of rock that will make up the foundation of the building. What a lovely gesture, I felt privileged to be part of it.

Hidenori Izaki, the new WBC Champ and Reg Barber get involved.

Snapshot of Craig Charity making his mark. Finally able to relax after an intense competition

That wasn’t the end though. We were then escorted to the Castello Della Rancia. A beautiful location for a celebration! The chef from the uber fancy Cosmopolitan Hotel in Civitanova, treated us to a feast! Gianni, a legend in the Simonelli team, was teaching the art of sabrage, opening the prosecco bottles with a sword, much fun was had by all.

The balcony where we had the opportunity to interview the World Champ

Not a bad place to round off a successful WBC. A HUGE thank you to Nuova Simonell for hosting everyone.

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