Maria Fermanelli

“It is not enough to simply produce bread, the quality of the food matters, too.”

Rome

Maria Fermanelli is the founder of an Italian bakery that specializes in producing gluten-free bread and other products. Her company is based in Rome and located in the Benedictine Monastery of San Giovanni Battista.

The bakery, Cose dell’Altro Pane, has been in business for 15 years, supplying up to 1500 packages a day to pharmacies and specialty shops throughout the country.

Maria says the company prides itself in social responsibility and integration, with a staff of mostly female employees of different nationalities. The warehouse worker, for example, is a former Afghan refugee.

“Our staffmembers come from various traditions but our company reflects common truths, the importance of having respect for food, for proper nutrition, for the person who consumes what we produce.”

Maria says the company has artisanal roots, but takes a contemporary business approach to its future, with a view to innovation, an increasingly diversified range of products, and continuous market research.

A few years ago, the bakery opened a store, Pandali, in the center of Rome. The shop featured pizzas, focaccia, bread and desserts for celiac and vegan customers. It also hoped to reach anyone interested in a healthy diet, local or short-distance ingredients, stone-ground flours, and other quality ingredients.

With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the store was shut down but the bakery continued to deliver supplies directly to other outlets.

Despite a difficult year, this food hero and her staff say they remain committed to providing products that meet their ethical standards of high-quality nutrition.          

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