A customer’s success story30.01.14
“Pizzelle” is a traditional, Italian waffle cookie made from flour, eggs, sugar and butter or vegetable oil. Pizzelle was originally invented in the Abruzzo region in Italy. The name “Pizzelle” comes from the Italian word “pizze” for “round” and “flat”. But how did “Pizzelle” make its way over the Atlantic Ocean and why can you buy Pizzelle in North America’s and Canada’s supermarkets?
In this interview with Mr. Ces M. Nucci, the founder of NuStef Foods Limited, you will find the answers to that question. You will also find out what part Franz Haas is playing in the success story of NuStef Foods Limited, a company located in the suburbs of Toronto and employing about 70 people.
“Mr. Nucci, looking back on your career, what was your initial idea to create NuStef Foods Limited and why did you especially decide to produce the Pizzelle cookies?”
“Being Italian, I found out that there was no retail market for Pizzelle in the North American market and that producing and selling Pizzelle would be a business idea for me. There are many people with Italian roots living in this market and I wanted them to be able to enjoy the homelike taste of Pizzelle. Pizzelle, a traditional Italian waffle cookie, was originally invented in the south-central region of Abruzzo. It is important to me, to keep some beloved traditions from my former home country and the availability of the Pizzelle cookies is one way to do this. I want the following generations to know about Pizzelle and where it comes from – in short words, I want this tradition to continue! I came to Canada in the year 1955 when I was only two years old. My parents told me about the famous, homemade Pizzelle.”
“You are even shipping Pizzelle cookies back to Italy. What do you think makes your Pizzelle so loved in Italy and all over the world?”
“The crucial factor for the lovers of Pizzelle is the crunchy and smooth taste. Pizzelle can be relished with many types of fruit, filled with cream, yogurt or almost anything else that comes to your mind. My Italian distributor is located in the city of Chieti, but we are doing our main business in the US and Canada. But we also have customers from The Far East, New Zealand, Japan and China, who are ordering Pizzelle cookies.”
“We are interested in the starting phase of “your” Pizzelle: Could you please explain how the production process of your Pizzelle originated? Did you start with a machine built by Haas or a machine with manually operated baking plates?”
“Well, the startup... I developed my own machine, equipped with retailed baking plates. I installed them into a pneumatic system called “Airlogic”. It was very crude equipment, but nevertheless it worked. We produced 12 cookies every 2 ½ minutes. We operated that machine for approximately two years. Within these 2 years we have done modifications onto the machine that increased the production to 24 cookies every 2 ½ minutes. It took two operators to run that machine. We’ve started in 1985. I ordered my first Haas machine in 1987 or 1988, and this Haas machine is still in operation.”
“So it seems that your business idea has been developing very well. Just two years after starting the Pizzelle production, you bought your first Haas machine. Are you happy with your Haas machinery?”
“Yes, we have begun with one Haas machine. The latest machine that will go in operation soon is our eighth Haas machine.”
“We are proud to hear that you are satisfied with our ovens. Do you use machines built by our competitors, too? And how did you come to Franz Haas?”
“We have no other machines, just Haas regarding production lines.
How I came to Franz Haas. Through a mutual friend connection I was introduced to an agent of Franz Haas, who represented your lineup. Because of the trust-factor, that I had with the agent, I made the decision for a machine built by Franz Haas. For me, Franz Haas was the only manufacturer that was able to supply spare parts from your local establishment (comment: Franz Haas Machinery of America, Inc. in Richmond, VA). Instant availability of replacement parts is a major factor for me. I cannot store all the replacement parts in my company – I get the parts many times faster from Richmond than dealing with overseas.”
“Being close to our customers is one of our promises into which we are putting lots of effort. Now, back to Haas: If we could do something better – what would that be?”
“Hmmm, well, just keep us customers informed. As I walked through your building here (comment: Leobendorf headquarters production halls) I have seen so much potential. You can do so much. I believe that not all your existing customers know what your ovens are capable of and what is available to your customers. Keep us abreast with new engineering requirements, design, new products and new ideas. That’s a big factor for us manufacturers. We are good in making the cookie, but we have no idea how to put two bolts together.” (smiles)
“Well, someone, who personally built his first production machine, must know at least the basics about bolts and nuts…Finally, what would you say is your personal recipe for success?”
“Believe in the product you have! I have a great belief in the product I am selling! Treat your customers and suppliers with the respect they deserve, the way you expect to be treated. And thirdly, most importantly is: Maintain your employees! They are the ones that make it all happen for you.”
“Thank you very much, Mr. Nucci for giving us this interview. We wish you all the best and good business for the future! We will do our best to be your future supplier of cookie machinery and to continue our strong business relationship.”
Find more information about Pizzelle and NuStef Foods Limited on http://www.pizzellecookies.com.