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Corporate bread

The story of a baker’s personal and business experience turns into the perfect management manual for production organisations

 

Enterprise above all, even (or perhaps, especially) when bread is concerned – enterprise nonetheless, as it entails the undertaking something new, accomplished according to how we feel it should really be done, planned, built, pieced together day after day with determination, ingenuity, innovation and imagination. This is how enterprising stories always go – they are always the same and yet always different from each other, and always have “practice” teaching us something that “theory” cannot provide. This is why we learn something new every time we read the experiences of entrepreneurs that have “made their own business”.

Just as it happens with Volevo solo fare il panettiere (I only wanted to be a baker), written by Luigi Luini – a real baker, i.e. a real entrepreneur, who, reached a certain point in his long life, decided to write a book about his experience, a unique story that is also a perfect corporate management manual. So much so, that the foreword has been written by Sandro Castaldo, full professor of economy and corporate management at the Bocconi University of Milan, who has no qualms about paying tribute to this baker born in Apulia and living in Milan and who, in flawless academic language, confirms how the “Luini Milano forno dal 1888” bakery is the perfect example of an enterprise that is both innovative yet steeped in tradition, able to evolve by integrating the most modern marketing tools while retaining product continuity and its place on the market.

Luini begins his narration with a statement: “I don’t see any fundamental difference between a bakery product and a handshake. Panzerotti (savoury turnovers), taralli (hefty crackers), friselle (savoury biscuits) and rosette bread rolls are all made by hand, by an individual who, in that hand, holds his or her whole ingenuity and self.” Handiwork, or manufacture: the making of something whose origins may be remote, something that reinvents itself while staying the same. Luini retraces 90 years of corporate history that, accompanied by many images, brings back childhood memories and family events, quirky details, anecdotes and the choices that determined an entrepreneurial success built on tradition and bold innovation. The Luini bakery’s story also intertwines with that of Italy, travelling across the country on the trail of a moustachioed maternal grandfather who leaves Bisceglie (Apulia) with only his good shirt and the secrets of Apulian cuisine, whose baked goods will win over a city (Milan), becoming part of the local gastronomy, to then end up on the other side of the world via global word of mouth. Nowadays, we would say that ‘it is all thanks to constant care for product quality and innovation’ or, more succinctly, we would call it ‘corporate wisdom’, which Luini narrates with passion, baring it all, and thus captivating the reader.

Introducing Luini’s literary efforts, the Bocconi academic acknowledges what the author, just like all real entrepreneurs, already knows: “His words are confirmation that, in the end, the key resources of a company are the women and men who bring it to life, their feelings and their ideas.” Luigi Luini’s book is definitely a must read.

Volevo solo fare il panettiere (I only wanted to be a baker)

Luigi Luini

EGEA, 2021

The story of a baker’s personal and business experience turns into the perfect management manual for production organisations

 

Enterprise above all, even (or perhaps, especially) when bread is concerned – enterprise nonetheless, as it entails the undertaking something new, accomplished according to how we feel it should really be done, planned, built, pieced together day after day with determination, ingenuity, innovation and imagination. This is how enterprising stories always go – they are always the same and yet always different from each other, and always have “practice” teaching us something that “theory” cannot provide. This is why we learn something new every time we read the experiences of entrepreneurs that have “made their own business”.

Just as it happens with Volevo solo fare il panettiere (I only wanted to be a baker), written by Luigi Luini – a real baker, i.e. a real entrepreneur, who, reached a certain point in his long life, decided to write a book about his experience, a unique story that is also a perfect corporate management manual. So much so, that the foreword has been written by Sandro Castaldo, full professor of economy and corporate management at the Bocconi University of Milan, who has no qualms about paying tribute to this baker born in Apulia and living in Milan and who, in flawless academic language, confirms how the “Luini Milano forno dal 1888” bakery is the perfect example of an enterprise that is both innovative yet steeped in tradition, able to evolve by integrating the most modern marketing tools while retaining product continuity and its place on the market.

Luini begins his narration with a statement: “I don’t see any fundamental difference between a bakery product and a handshake. Panzerotti (savoury turnovers), taralli (hefty crackers), friselle (savoury biscuits) and rosette bread rolls are all made by hand, by an individual who, in that hand, holds his or her whole ingenuity and self.” Handiwork, or manufacture: the making of something whose origins may be remote, something that reinvents itself while staying the same. Luini retraces 90 years of corporate history that, accompanied by many images, brings back childhood memories and family events, quirky details, anecdotes and the choices that determined an entrepreneurial success built on tradition and bold innovation. The Luini bakery’s story also intertwines with that of Italy, travelling across the country on the trail of a moustachioed maternal grandfather who leaves Bisceglie (Apulia) with only his good shirt and the secrets of Apulian cuisine, whose baked goods will win over a city (Milan), becoming part of the local gastronomy, to then end up on the other side of the world via global word of mouth. Nowadays, we would say that ‘it is all thanks to constant care for product quality and innovation’ or, more succinctly, we would call it ‘corporate wisdom’, which Luini narrates with passion, baring it all, and thus captivating the reader.

Introducing Luini’s literary efforts, the Bocconi academic acknowledges what the author, just like all real entrepreneurs, already knows: “His words are confirmation that, in the end, the key resources of a company are the women and men who bring it to life, their feelings and their ideas.” Luigi Luini’s book is definitely a must read.

Volevo solo fare il panettiere (I only wanted to be a baker)

Luigi Luini

EGEA, 2021