NewsEconomicsDead Aldo Balocco, honorary president of the historic company

Dead Aldo Balocco, honorary president of the historic company

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Aldo Balocco, honorary president of Balocco, a historic confectionery company “which he brought to be one of the best known, modern and solid industrial companies in the country”, died at the age of 91. The group announced it in a note. Born in Fossano (Cuneo) in 1930, Aldo Balocco has brought Balocco today to have over 75,000 covered square meters, with ten production plants for breakfast biscuits, leavened products and wafers. In the last ten years it has made technological investments for over 100 million euros and represents a source of pride for the area in terms of efficiency, growth and financial solidity. It develops a turnover of 200 million euros, with 500 employees, and exports to over 70 countries around the world. “The industrial development of what is now one of the most famous” made in Italy “confectionery brands – underlines the group – is due to an entrepreneur who will be remembered by all for his qualities of honesty, humanity, altruism and extraordinary sense of duty “. WHO WAS BALOCCO, THE INVENTOR OF THE ‘ALMOND’ – Orphaned by his mother after just a week of life, he is raised by his mother’s sisters, Lucia Cussino, in nearby Genola. At the age of nine, he returns to Fossano to the home of his father, Francesco Antonio Balocco, right above the pastry shop he founded in 1927, which overlooks the Piazza del Castello degli Acaja. His new mothers become the shop assistants. The life of the Balocco family seems to have regained a certain harmony, but in those first decades of the twentieth century it is not allowed to live in peace: on 8 September 1943, father and son are forced to flee to Dogliani, in the Langhe, taking refuge in a farmhouse next to the farms of Luigi Einaudi. After the end of the war, Aldo separates again from his father, moving to Cuneo to complete his higher studies. Also this time the Cussinos welcome him: his mother’s younger brother, Piero, who will be the architect of the extraordinary rebirth of Venchi chocolate, becomes for him the brother he never had. In 1949, having finished his studies, Aldo Balocco returned to Fossano. He is not yet twenty years old, but since he was a child he has lived among the pastry chefs and already has very clear ideas: the activity of the shops, with fresh pastries is well underway, but the work is concentrated mostly on weekends. How to make the most of the laboratory’s production capacity? One day he reveals his dream to his father: “We must insist on dry pastries and start producing sweets for wholesale”. From the first plant, distributed over four floors, around a central courtyard which is accessed through a large wooden door, which resembled that of the Acaja castle, with just 30 employees, the Balocco revolution starts. The tins full of sweets, the so-called “tole” in Piedmontese, intended for wholesalers throughout Italy, are the most eloquent image of the change that is taking place. These were the years of the economic boom, and in the factory in Via San Bernardo, the embryo of the future Balocco, the first removable trolley ovens for panettone were installed. In reality, Antonio Balocco’s boys had baked thousands of pastry panettone, which came out of the workshops in Piazza Castello and carefully wrapped by the orders, reached the tables of the people of Fossano. They were consumed as soon as they were made, so the theme of conservation did not arise. But in order to push the Balocco panettone beyond the borders of Fossano and the province, it was necessary to overcome the obstacle of their conservation. In 1955 Aldo Balocco decided to hire a young Lombard, displaced to Cuneo in the dark years of the war, who had worked in Milan at Motta and Alemagna, at the time two giants of the confectionery industry. Ermanno Crespi, originally from Abbiategrasso, introduces the “natural leavening” technology to Fossano. From this idea a new panettone is born: tall like the Milanese one, but glazed like the lower Piedmontese one. Plus covered with toasted almonds and sugar grains. A mix of Lombardy and Piedmont. And Aldo immediately got the name right: the Almond Balocco, which will become the worldwide ambassador of the Fossano-based company. In 1961 Aldo married Anna Ferrero and with the marriage his life changed radically: in the mid-sixties, Alessandra and Alberto were born: two children who, with the passage of time, will in fact become the two brothers that Aldo had never had. . In 1970 Balocco moved to the new headquarters in Via Santa Lucia, also in Fossano: 20,000 square meters against the 5,000 of the previous factory. New and more modern machines arrive and under the guidance of Aldo the company grinds success after success. In the mid-seventies, advertising on television arrived, and the Balocco panettone thus entered the homes of all Italians. In 1990 Alessandra and Alberto joined the company, and supported their father in the management of the same and gave way to the company’s entry into the breakfast market. In June 2010, at the Quirinale, Aldo Balocco was proclaimed Cavaliere del Lavoro.

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