Deliba!...A FAMILY STORY.
Imagine, it’s the 1960s, Italy is experiencing a booming economy, and industrial development is bringing profound changes to Italian society. Many people are leaving rural areas and moving to big cities to work in factories. Many cultivate the dream of a better life, but for many, this dream will result in a life of hardships, far away from their roots and loved ones. Others will live in overcrowded, polluted places with a lack of essential services.
Meanwhile, in Southern Italy, large-scale industry struggles to establish itself. The rural areas remain alive, and those who own a roof and a small plot of land will lead a dignified life - in fact, today we would say fortunate - because those lands are blessed by Mother Nature, with ample sunlight and mild temperatures. Imagine, it is even possible to have four harvests per year. In the stories of that time, one can perceive the carefree spirit of the people and their desire for conviviality and sharing. It is no coincidence that this concept forms the basis of the Mediterranean diet, which originated precisely in these southern areas of Italy.
Our story begins in Molochio, a small rural town in southern Aspromonte, Calabria. Today, it is known worldwide as a place of longevity, as the average age of our grandparents is very high. Here, life flows slowly, following the rhythm of the seasons, marked by the scents, colors, and products that each season bestows upon us. The untouched nature makes its products unique. The company is nestled within the Aspromonte National Park, which has recently become part of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network.
It is from here, in the mid-1960s, that our father, Francesco Cosmano, began managing a prestigious olive oil company on behalf of the Carlizzi family. The company is quite large, with 40 hectares of land. Olive trees are the main crop, but there are also numerous fruit trees, chestnut groves, and oak forests. Francesco has the task of managing the complexity of the company. During the autumn-winter season, he organizes the olive harvest and milling process, as well as the collection of chestnuts and acorns. In the spring-summer season, among the olive trees, a wide variety of vegetables, legumes, wheat, and fodder are cultivated. Francesco succeeds in transforming the company into an eco-sustainable system, producing everything needed to sustain the families who work and care for the company. From vegetables to tomatoes, legumes for the winter, chestnuts, and wheat for flour, fodder for the animals from which milk and cheese are obtained, as well as the manure used to fertilize the olive trees, the company covers a wide range of products. The olive grove is the most economically important part of the company, producing a large quantity of high-quality olive oil. During the autumn and winter seasons, olive harvesting requires a significant amount of manual labor. Historically, it has been women who gather the olives. It is a demanding job, but one that brings great satisfaction.
THE BIRTH OF THE COMPANY
In the mid-1970s, among the many female workers in the company, there was Maria, a young woman who had recently started working there. Francesco and Maria met during their workdays and spent a lot of time together. They discussed and tried to find a new harvesting method to improve the conditions for the workers and the quality of the oil. With their innovation, olives would no longer be gathered from the ground but on traditional colored nets that would not be spread on the ground. Instead, they would rest on a soft grassy surface, serving as a cushion for the olives. This system would guarantee them higher quality and significantly improve working conditions. As life went on, the two continued their relationship and love blossomed. In the early 1980s, as they prepared for their wedding, they were unaware that the owners were planning to sell the company. This led to the end of their dreams and uncertainty about their future employment. However, the owners held great respect, trust, and gratitude toward Francesco, and they went out of their way to sell the company to the two lovers.
Between the 80s - 90s
In 1981, Francesco and Maria got married, bought the farm, and their dream continued. Over the years, their family grew, and in the mid-1980s, they were blessed with three beautiful children: Carmine, Gianfranco, and Ivana. In the mid-1990s, Francesco and Maria, continuing their project of modernizing the company, began gradually mechanizing the harvesting process. This allowed them to obtain a higher quality extra virgin olive oil. As time passed, the children grew up and received guidance and wisdom from their parents. They were able to learn and develop their skills thanks to their parents' advice and experience. Each of them embarked on an academic journey that took them around the world, gaining valuable international experiences.