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Quality confectioners since 1885
Prodotti Panarello
The history of the Panarello brand starts in Genoa at the end of the 19th century when Francesco Panarello, employed as chief confectioner in a bakery in Via Porta d’Archi, distinguishes himself for initiative and entrepreneurship in starting, to enrich his mixture with greater quantities of butter and sugar, rendering them richer and tastier.

Customers show great appreciation for these products made from the new “reinforced” recipe and the bakery gradually becomes more a confectioner.

In 1885, at only 17 years of age, the young Francesco takes over the bakery and unwittingly starts a "sweet" story lasting more than a century.

A story of passion and tradition but also of a strong propensity for innovation and development.

Panarello was in fact the first in Genoa to purchase an electric oven and this led to the opening of a new shop in Piazza della Nunziata in 1923 and subsequently of a production plant in Salita Santa Maria della Sanità in 1930, which comprised a candied fruit plant to ensure maximum quality of all raw materials used in cake preparation.

Over the years and thanks to the growing customer appreciation for the products, Panarello expands beyond the regional boundaries with new confectioners.

In 1930 the first Panarello confectioners is opened in Milan and in 1940, despite the impending menace of war, a further 2 shops are opened (a second in Milan and a third in Genoa); in 1950, after having repaired the bombardment damage, the third shop opens in Genoa.

The most significant expansion of the company, however, begins between the 60’s and the 70’s with its entry into large-scale retail distribution and consequent expansion of industrial production.

Starting in 1979, the Panarello brand starts to become widespread outside the regional boundaries, firstly as a synonym for Lagaccio biscuits and Pandolce, the most characteristic confectionery products in local history.

The expansion of the group continues: 1999 sees the inauguration of the shop in Via Caprera in Genoa, strategically positioned on the edge of the elegant residential quarters of Albaro and Sturla and in May 2001 the outlet in Chiavari is opened, filling the void long-lamented by Riviera residents and tourists alike.

In October 2002, returning to its roots with the opening of the shop in Corso Carbonara, Panarello settled in the heart of the upper part of town, the Castelletto district, the traditional residence of the old families of Genoa since the 19th Century. This is where most of the Panarello family still lives today, and also where the original Panarello laboratory for fresh products destined for confectioner’s shops can be found.

After the severe financial crisis of 2007 Panarello was quick to respond to the difficult situation. The family decided to invest in a more modern business model that would incorporate specific external skills with a broader and more dynamic vision of the market. The goal was to consolidate the company’s position and create the conditions for sustainable growth.
In the coming years, on the foundations of a solid confectionery tradition innovative strategies were developed, which were to dictate the rules of a modern corporate structure built on the values of the family. The process was extremely complex and demanded courage, vision and great economic and financial commitment.

In 2009 the company adopted a simplified business model favouring the rationalisation of costs and optimising operational efficiency. The fulcrum of this operation was the concentration of the business in one single site and the transfer of the artisanal manufacturing unit with related installations to the building in Via Carso, in Genoa Heights. The structure was innovated and expanded in order to create a strong centralised manufacturing system bringing together the artisanal and industrial activities and the offices.
The various functions were also centralised, for the purpose of making the organisation more efficient and streamlining the management procedures, and the company brought in external skills capable of developing the workforce in a professional key. Other innovations included the introduction of continual staff training and the supervision of the sales network. The computerisation of the processes speeded up transactions and activities of control and forecasting.

The manufacturing philosophy, founded on the high quality of the raw materials and the artisanal processing methods, had two objectives: to strengthen the market presence of the company’s time-honoured products and encourage the research and development of new product ranges based on current consumer trends. Tradition was the starting point for raising the value of the classic confectionary products, and led to the innovative drive to reinvent them, creating multiple variations and adapting them to modern tastes.

A segment of the research focused on the creation of 'health-conscious' confectionary products which, while being dietary, maintained the same nutritive value, genuine character, rich taste and high quality of the Panarello tradition. This was the beginning of the Biscotto della Salute, sugar-free Canestrelli, sugar-free yogurt Biscottini and the fibre-rich range, products with special weights and packaging which, under the brand name of ‘Naturalmente Buoni’, were created, along with the sugar-free Biscotto del Lagaccio, for the pharmaceutical channel and specialised shops. After a long period of research and analysis, in 2013 the company launched a major innovation in the confectionery sector: a line of gluten-free products called Granò, designed specifically for celiac consumers. The manufacture of these confectionary products was assigned entirely to the Sassello plant, and represented the first project in Liguria involving the total conversion of a manufacturing site. With the addition of these health products the company expanded its range of action, penetrating pharmacies and stores specialising in natural, ‘light’ foods and counting on widespread national distribution.

In the last decade Panarello opened new shops with a new arrangement, following the redesigning of the brand in 2009. The new shop is a combination of a confectioner’s shop, a coffee bar and, where possible, also a gelato shop.
Five new shops were opened, four in Milan and one on the Ligurian Riviera: in Milan, in 2003 and 2011 respectively, the Confectioner’s/Coffee Bar in Piazza Santa Francesca Romana and the point of sale in Via Tolstoj, in an area in which redevelopment has attracted designer ateliers and creative spaces, while in 2012 the second Panarello Confectioner’s shop in the Gulf of Tigullio, and the seventh in Liguria, was opened in Corso Italia, in the historic centre of Rapallo; in 2013 Panarello opened a shop in Via della Moscova, Milan, and, last but not least, in 2016 a shop was opened at Via Belfiore 10, Milan, just a short walk from Corso Vercelli.
In addition to this, several of the company’s time-honoured shops underwent a complete restyling; these were the shops in Via XX Settembre and Corso Carbonara in Genoa and those in Piazza Santa Francesca Romana, Piazza San Nazario in Brolo and Via Speronari in Milan.

While, on the one hand, Panarello continues to increase its range of products, invests in advertising and develops its points of sale, showing that it pays to invest in high artisanal quality, at the same time the company is well aware of the general drop in consumption. Seeking a way to help its loyal consumers who find themselves with reduced purchasing power, the company came up with an original idea: ‘anti-crisis confectionary’. In 2011 in the building in Via Carso an outlet was opened for the sale of ‘imperfect biscuits’. These are biscuits that are either broken or come out of the manufacturing process slightly flawed, so that they cannot be packaged for large-scale distribution; they are sold, therefore, in anonymous white bags at much lower than the retail price. For those looking to save money this represents a return to the customs of the past while still enjoying the luxury of a confectionary product.

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Prodotti Panarello