This week’s Food Hero title goes to Andrea Marziali, the CEO and founder of Montemonaco Food. The company produces organic legume flour made from chickpeas, lentils, broad beans, and peas. The legumes are cultivated using simple, traditional methods, and grow in an uncontaminated environment between the sources of Aso and Tenna rivers. By adopting sustainable cultivation methods and a low environmental impact, combined with the high altitude and the pristine nature of the mountains, Montemonaco ensures that the legumes are of excellent quality.
The pasta produced by Montemonaco Food has a high protein, fibre, and low salt content. It is also considered naturally free from gluten and cholesterol, in addition to having a lower glycemic index than wheat pasta. As a result Montemonaco Food’s products are suitable for people who are celiac, gluten-sensitive, need to increase their protein or fibre intake, are on a low-sodium or low-cholesterol diet, need to improve their glycemic index, or simply want to increase the intake of legumes in their everyday lives.
In conversation with our Food Hero
Crowdfooding spoke to Andrea Marziali and asked him to share some of his experiences in building a business.
How did you get the idea for your business?
“I decided to open Montemonaco Food in order to increase the consumption of legumes in a practical and fast way. The traditional preparation of legumes, especially chickpeas and lentils, is time consuming and often complicated – we wanted to offer an easy, yet healthy alternative.”
What has been the most significant thing you learned in the process of building your company?
“Even if you have a great idea and a fabulous product, it is absolutely essential to have the right financial knowledge and infrastructure, even if operating in a niche market.”
What has been the biggest highlight and lowlight so far?
“Our biggest highlight was when we were selected as a private label for a large, Italian company. We were chosen by an anonymous panel of nine culinary experts and competed against our five largest competitors.
Our biggest lowlight was the disappointing harvest of legumes (especially chickpeas and lentils) in 2017 due to the exceptionally hot and dry summer in central Italy.”
What is the impact you envision your business will have on the world?
“Here at Montemonaco we don’t have an ambition to change the world. But we firmly believe that by cultivating legumes using traditional methods with a low environmental impact, we can definitely improve the world in some way. We hope that by doing so we will encourage other companies and individuals across the world to do the same.”
What keeps you motivated?
“The awareness of making a product that does not harm the environment and that is good for people’s health.”
What would be the spirit animal of your company and why?
“Definitely an eagle, as we believe attention to detail is crucial.”
Read more about Montemonaco and get their products here.