Demetrio Mauro was 44 years old in 1959 and had already gained considerable experience as a small businessman. His passion for coffee began in his youth, when he sailed on cargo ships along the coasts of South America. He fell in love with this dark beverage, its Arabica and Robusta varieties and the secrets to roasting. When the war was over, Demetrio decided to set up a small coffee roasting plant. He bought a used roasting machine and, thanks to his contacts with the countries of origin, sent the first sacks of raw coffee to the port of Reggio Calabria. In his warehouse, just a stone's throw from the port, he began roasting and delivering 300 kilos of coffee beans every day. Mauro Caffè was established, at number 101 via Florio. Demetrio was a tenacious and creative man, and he had the brilliant idea of packaging coffee, which had been sold loose until then, under his own brand name.
Mauro Caffè blends were successful in every Italian region, with production reaching 1.5 tonnes of coffee a day in 1957. More space was soon needed, and Demetrio identified a spot north of Reggio Calabria: the new factory was built in Via Borrace, on an area of 10,000 square metres, with a modern production line and new offices. Production increased to 3.0 tonnes of coffee, in different blends of the finest quality. It arrived on the ship Nereide and was subsequently distributed by the company's fleet of vehicles. Mauro Caffè's success continued and, just two years later, a new 5,000 square metre building was added to the initial structure.
Demetrio Mauro realised that advertising was a strategic resource well in advance of his competitors, so much so that even the packaging of the very first products revealed a careful study of the brand, colours and shapes. The mid-1960s heralded the arrival of the Carosello films, in which Caffè Mauro was presented with the faces of two sleepy Mexican peons, Chico and Manolo, who, refreshed by coffee, proclaimed one of the advertising catchphrases of the time: “Amba la samba, ora sì che siamo in gamba!”. The fleet of cars and trucks was decorated, and futuristic promotional vehicles were built. Mauro Caffè was among the first Italian companies to bring merchandising into the points of sale.
The plant in Via Borrace was an industrial model: quality was guaranteed by special silos with compartments for the storage of raw and roasted coffee, by processing departments
with centralised programming stations and by meticulous hygiene control. In 1967, Demetrio Mauro was awarded the prestigious “Mercurio D'Oro” by the then Minister of the Economy, the Hon. Giulio Andreotti.
Caffè Mauro continued its expansion in Italy and abroad, and Marketing was becoming an increasingly important resource. In terms of advertising, the time had come to focus on a young actor with an important surname, destined, like his father, for a career in film: Christian de Sica.
Caffè Mauro entered into a series of important sports sponsorships. The most important involved participation as “Official Coffee” in the “Italia '90” World Cup, followed by agreements as “top sponsor” of football teams Juventus, Reggina and Palermo.
Even after the founder's death, the company continued to grow. The plant in Via Borrace had become too small to meet the demands of the markets in Italy and abroad. An area for the construction of a new production plant was identified in the industrial area of Villa San Giovanni, a few kilometres from Reggio Calabria. One of the most important local production plants was set up in a large park covering an area of 32,000 square metres, overlooking the splendid Strait of Messina.
The roasting plant on the Strait of Messina had become a major industry, but was nevertheless faced with a period of severe market crisis. The new millennium welcomed the company in a fully renewed competitive scenario, with the emergence of old and new competitors, and the dynamically developing capsule segment. In 2009, Fabrizio Capua progressively acquired all the shares in Demetrio Mauro SpA through Capua Investments, changing the company's name to Caffè Mauro SpA. In the years following the acquisition, the company's difficulties were further aggravated by the consumer crisis triggered worldwide after the huge bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in the United States. The combination of limited liquidity and declining revenues turned into the “perfect storm”, with the potential to destroy every kind of company.
Unlike many others, Fabrizio Capua saw the crisis as an opportunity both to rebuild the company and to redesign Caffè Mauro's overall approach to the market.
Today Caffè Mauro is a company with a completely renewed organisation, with a strategic new approach to the brand and an important digital transformation that links all the company processes. The new commercial strategy is aimed at a more balanced diversification of the channels, at a strong drive towards e-Commerce and at increasing the brand's expansion abroad.