Pepper, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, currant, coffee: scents and aromas that have been accompanying Francesco Torrisi since he was born in the 1900; he established the Industry that has signed Sicilian coffee for over eighty years.
During the 20s Francesco Torrisi, still very young, comes back home, after wearing the military uniform during the First World War, he marries and co-operates with his father in the family firm which, at this time, begins to import spices and groceries. After a short time the firm attains the first place in Sicily for the wholesale marketing of denatured and absolute alcohol, sodium bicarbonate and sulphate, copper sulphate, saponin, sulphurs and colophony, shelled almonds, pine nuts and flax –seeds and then still a great variety of food products like sugar, rice, legumes, preserved foods, meals, starches for sweets, lard and coffee.
Year after year the firm grows, with the addition of Agatino the youngest brother of Francesco, it dominates not only the effects of its distributed products, but also for the correct, coherent and clear commercial behaviours imposed by the Torrisi brothers, making these concepts a dogma of behaviour and life.
In the thirties and shortly before the Second War World, the coffee consumption is still an élite event, in fact, it is drunk at the practitioners' houses (the chemist, the doctor, the magistrate), here the coffee is bought "raw" and then it is roasted in peculiar pans. The blends are created by themselves, proposing the result of their work to their friends. At the Torrisi brothers' house the best coffee in town is drunk, of course, and many times Mrs. Agata, Francesco's wife is obliged by her friends to help them to get this product.
In the post war period the Torrisi firm activity begins with energy in a vast way in importation and wholesales trade. Francesco and Agatino, realising the coffee would become a primary consumer good in years to come, begin to organise a widespread distribution of roasted coffee in sealed packages (once it was sold loose) distributing it to the Calabrian and Sicilian retailers.
The years elapsed and the coffee changed into a wide broad consumer product, obliging the firms to be mechanised more and more. In the sixties the vacuum sorting machine was introduced for the first time; this ingenious innovation, permitting to obtain a better and sounder preservation of roasted coffee, allows a more specialized and wider distribution, so the "Torrisi superblend" (Supermiscela Torrisi) confirms itself the favourite coffee by every Sicilian family.
Millions of kilograms of coffee are worked in a firms continuos change, from a small factory to a modern factory of COMPAGNIA MERIDIONALE CAFFE' S.p.A., where the handicraft origins of this product are never forgotten, although the most modern technologies are used.