A book describes the recent events at the Melegatti company, which have become a living example of some people’s attachment to the values of work and production.


Corporate culture is created in many different ways. And at the end of the day, at its base you will find only one thing: a love for work and the results that work produces. This is not a rare condition. In fact, you will find just such an attitude in many companies. Even when, for various reasons, the company itself closes down, or there is a risk of it closing down. Which is why it is important to collect these stories.

And why it is definitely worth reading the recently published “Lievito madre. Storia della fabbrica salvata dagli operai” (Sourdough. The story of a factory saved by its workers) written by Silvino Gonzato.

The book tells the story of the Malegatti company from San Giovanni Lupatoto, close to Verona. Just a few weeks ago, the factory reopened – under a new name, “Melegatti 1894” – after a difficult, troubled period as the company searched for a new buyer. And it has reopened in part due to the determination of three workers – Davide Stupazzoni, Matteo Peraro and Michele Isolan – who, every single day during the months where production was at a standstill, fed the mass of sourdough which has been around since 1894, i.e. ever since the pastry chef Domenico Melegatti created it in his workshop on the Corso Porta Borsari in Verona. These men, together with the new owners (Roberto and Giacomo Spezzapria), have helped keep the corporate culture in this enterprise alive

The book brings us a story of anxiety and courage, of sleepless nights and days camped outside the factory, of dreams and of reality. In just over 100 pages you will find the tales of the three workers, the two new buyers and the rest of the factory, all of which seems to centre around the protection of the sourdough, which is treated every single day. Almost the physical embodiment of the true centre of the factory.

The writing of Gonzato, who followed the affair every step of the way, is passionate yet also journalistic in tone. Always there, reading and researching. Encompassing all the distress of the case and the opposing positions of two varying visions of the company. What emerge is both a case study on corporate culture and a human story full of the will to live and the will to work. A great read.



Lievito madre. Storia della fabbrica salvata dagli operai (Sourdough. The story of a factory saved by its workers)

Silvino Gonzato

Neri Pozza, 2018