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Q & A with Infermentum

Every day, Infermentum's ovens bring to life dreams—aromatic, irresistibly sweet, and fragrant. Meet the passionate minds behind this artisanal endeavor, a tale woven by young and ambitious individuals who followed their instincts. What started as a passion for leavened pastries has blossomed into a journey fueled by immense enthusiasm, a willingness to take risks, and a touch of folly—the secret recipe for authenticity.


In 2015, the visionaries behind Infermentum traded their careers in engineering and marketing to pursue a shared dream. Their mission? To establish a dessert company dedicated to crafting high-quality delights that not only ignite their own enthusiasm but also inspire their employees, suppliers, and customers. With every Infermentum creation, they aim to deliver joy and authenticity to homes far and wide.

Infermentum Panettone
Image Courtesy of Infermentum

What is your passion? Tell us about it.

A. In 2015 we decided to leave our careers in engineering and marketing and follow our dream: creating a high quality dessert company that made not only us, but our employees, suppliers and customers, feel enthusiastic and passionate. And with this in mind, Infermentum was built. With our young team we produce different leavened, award-winning desserts with premium and authentic quality. We use natural yeast, only top quality ingredients and no preservatives or chemical flavours. Our signature packaging, a paper box, is unique and appreciated because it expresses genuinity and simplicity. For the last 9 years we have been spreading our brand and products throughout Italy, Europe and the United States, and we would like to meet new partners that believe in quality products and collaborations.


What inspired you to persue this passion? Tell us the story.

A. INFERMENTUM FRIENDSHIP, HEART AND PRAISE FOR MOTHER YEAST Three guys in 2015 change their lives and realise a dream The small confectionery company from Verona now has a turnover of over 2 million euros and exports to 12 countries around the world Two engineers, a marketing specialist and the shared dream of leaving the path, following their instincts and creating, together, something exceptional. These are the ingredients from which Infermentum, a young but already very solid artisan confectionery company from Verona, was born. Because Francesco Borioli, Luca Dal Corso and Elisa Dalle Pezze (together with Daniele Massella, who left the company in 2021 to follow new projects), who grew up together in the hills of Stallavena, were not born pastry chefs, but at the age of 35 decided to turn their professional lives around by rolling up their sleeves and literally putting their hands to work. A choice that turned out to be a winner: from 500 panettone cakes made almost as a game in 2014, today the company produces almost 100,000 cakes a year, distributed in over 200 shops in Italy and 12 countries around the world, - including the United States - and through e-commerce. Infermentum, a name chosen to celebrate the mother yeast, the undisputed king of production, is a fairytale that continually develops, creating the ferment that is breathed every day in the laboratory in Stallavena. Friendship makes strength In the beginning was beer. Francesco and Luca, the first an environmental engineer in the family business, the latter an industrial engineer, felt as early as 2012 that they wanted to break away from the schematic nature of their work to indulge their more creative and entrepreneurial streak. After a few attempts at producing artisanal beer, the two friends began to develop a passion for leavened goods, trying their hand at making focaccias, pizzas and baked desserts in their spare time. Francesco immediately realised that this was his path: he quit his job in the family business and threw himself headlong into learning leavening techniques. A self-taught study, based on trial and error, experimentation, many courses with leavening masters, tastings, adjustments, continuous improvements, until the best possible result is achieved. A winning technique, which is still applied on a daily basis, in Infermentum's laboratory. 2014 marks the year of 'Sliding Doors': Francesco involves Luca, Elisa and university friend Daniele in the production of a few panettone cakes for friends and relatives. The four friends buy a kneader and started baking at night in the ovens of a workshop in the valley opposite Stallavena. The approval was unanimous, word of mouth immediate, enthusiasm skyrocketing: in just a few days, the four friends found themselves kneading 500 Christmas sweets, which literally sold out in a few hours. In 2015 the real turning point, with the opening of the workshop in a disused warehouse in via Copernico, which allows them to produce 3800 panettone cakes, experiment, consolidate, and implement new recipes. Between 2016 and 2017, Elisa and Luca also abandoned their desk jobs to dedicate themselves body and soul to an ever-growing passion. A conscious and convinced choice, rewarded by the production numbers, which multiply year by year, reaching 95,500 pieces in 2022, for a turnover that grows every year by 20% and today reaches 2 million euros. Humility, sharing and continuous research: the ingredients for success Experimenting every day, seeking always to improve, never compromising in the name of business. "We are obsessed with quality, "the three friends often say to sum up their approach to work. And it is precisely quality that is the beacon of every choice in Infermentum's craft workshop, where up to 38 people now work together at peak activity in the run-up to Christmas. Around ten permanent employees, including several new mothers, find the right balance between work and private life here. Everyone at Infermentum makes a contribution. Because Francesco, Luca and Elisa believe a lot in teamwork, in the plurality of ideas, in the ability to delegate, to compare, to learn from each other every day, in a constant quest to perfect production. An attention to detail that starts from the care of the mother yeast, a living matter - the same since 2014 - that every day must be fed and studied to understand and foresee its changes. And always discovering new recipes to enhance it. The same principle is applied in the choice of raw materials: Infermentum selects genuine ingredients, as unrefined as possible, choosing excellences such as Molino della Giovanna flours, Valrhona chocolate, Agrimontana candied fruit. Despite the constant increase in production, only a few kneading machines are used. Everything else is made every day by hand, with the heart. Podium Panettone, Rose Cake and other delicacies Infermentum was born at Christmas, with the traditional Panettone, and then expanded production over the years with the Three Chocolates variant, the Figs, Apples and Walnuts variant and the Quattrogusti, consisting of four segments with different fillings (chocolate pearls, sour cherries, apricots and chestnuts). Also soon becoming a must is Monte Nuvola, the pandoro in the shape of panettone wiith a dough as soft as a cloud, named after the mountain where the three friends played as children. The recognitions are not long in coming. Already in 2016 the name Infermentum appeared in Dissapore's ranking of the 30 best panettone cakes in Italy, and in 2018 it won Mastro Panettone, the competition for the best artisan panettone cakes in Italy organised by Goloasi.it. and the following years saw podiums and mentions from Gambero Rosso, Gazza Golosa, Cook La Repubblica, Mastro Panettone Artisti del Panettone, and many others. If at Easter sales inevitably focus on the traditional Colombe, with three chocolates, plain and apricot, throughout the year the most popular is the Torta di Rose. The recipe for the typical Veronese cake with orange and vanilla flavouring reworked by Infermentum has also won over many restaurateurs in the valley, who serve it in warm single portions accompanied by mascarpone cream, ice cream or raspberry sauce. Completing the production, the Bauletti for breakfast available in 8 variants and the biscuits, which from Sbrisolotto to Muscovado and Cinnamon make every occasion sweeter. Quality at first sight If clothes do not make the man, it is also true that packaging says a lot about a product. The craftsmanship of Infermentum's sweets is already written in its packaging, a very simple but refined paper bag, thought out down to the smallest detail, reminiscent of freshly baked bread. Each cake is packaged in the laboratory in Via Copernico, with a different coloured label to distinguish its type. Nothing is left to chance at Infermentum, the artisan company founded by three friends at the bar, who did not pretend to change the world, but to make it at least a little happier. "We knead, we smell, we watch, we listen to our cakes as they rise or brown in the oven, we taste. And we start again. To improve. To make people feel good, to spread good humour and good taste, bite after bite'. Francesco, Luca, Elisa


What makes your creation unique?

A. Every one of our delicious creations is made from the same mother yeast used in our first experiments in the kitchen. It is patiently refreshed year after year with water and flour, as tradition demands. Today, after hours and hours of natural levitation, and the pauses required by different processes, it is the main ingredient used to bake our tasty and highly digestible deserts. Each is the fruit of our passion and we love to think of them as something special to be shared Moreover, each Infermentum desert is our interpretation of traditional recipes. We add a pinch of personal taste and only the finest ingredients, researched and selected with care. We add no aromas, colouring agents, preservatives or chemical emulsions because they simply have nothing to do with how we work. For the same reason, we use only candied fruits made from water and sugar and according to the French method. This guarantees freshness and favours natural conservation.


Tell us about your creative process.

A. Everything starts with mother yeast. It is refreshed three times every single day (10 hours of leavening). By refreshing we mean that it is replenished with water and flour three times a day, so it has enough strength and it is ready to be used. Then we start with the first basic dough, made by mother yeast, water, sugar, flour, eggs and butter. When the dough is ready, we let it leaven overnight (12 hours of leavening). The long leavening process and enzyme activity, inside the mother yeast, simplifies the complex elements, and because of this the final product is more digestible. In the morning there is a second dough, where we firstly add water and flour, to make the gluten network stronger, and ultimately add all the ingredients that characterize the product (for instance chocolate, candied fruits). Furthermore, there is the “pirlatura”, which means rounding the dough. This is a very important phase, because it affects the rise and development of the product during cooking. Then there is the last leavening (7 hours) before the cooking. After cooking, the product is cooled upside-down for the whole night, so it maintains its well-risen structure. The day after it is packed and it is ready to be tasted.


Who is your audience? How do you engage them?

A. Our products are for people and retailers who look for high-quality, natural ingridients and traditional products with a pinch of innovation as our packaging. We like meeting people and telling our story through social media and events in our lab.


What experience does your passion create? What can recipients expect?

A. Every day our ovens bake dreams. Aromatic, extra sweet and fragrant. This is Infermentum: a story of young and ambitious people who trusted their instinct and transformed their passion for leavened pastries into an artisanal activity. With immense enthusiasm, a willingness to take risks and a pinch of folly: the secret recipe for something true and genuine. And with our products, good and authentic, we want to bring joy into everyone’s home.


Where can your creations be found?

A. It is possibile to buy our products in our lab and on our e-commerce. Then we have more than 200 retailers around Italy and Europe.


What is next?

A. We want to expand our brand in U.S.A and there is the reason why we are looking for retailer and distributors.

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