History of our company
In 2021, our company celebrated 120 years of activity and today, to honor the intuition of Luigi Lazzaris in 1901, we wanted to interview his nephew, Alberto Lazzaris, who currently leads the family business, a historical reality that has reached the third generation.
The history of Lazzaris begins in 1900, when Luigi Lazzaris experiments with the Venetian mostarda recipe. How did this success come?
The mostarda recipe belongs to the rural tradition: Luigi Lazzaris began to produce it in his bakery with the typically local ingredients that were available. The fact that mostarda was finally available for sale in the retail trade network, probably led people to prefer buying it at the store instead of preparing it at home: I think the real initial success came exactly from this.
Since it was a typical product eaten during holidays, the pastry chefs proposed their own versions: so did Luigi Lazzaris, developing a product out of the ordinary, a product that was clearly much appreciated by the public.
How did Luigi Lazzaris change from a daring pastry chef of Conegliano to a factory entrepreneur for the production of mostarda?
The first Lazzaris bakery was located in the historic street of Conegliano, in Via XX Settembre. Then the business grow and 100 meters far from that historic place the real company was founded. It was the 1950s and at that time the business was booming: my grandfather gave the industrial footprint moving the company outside the historic center of Conegliano, where we are now, in Viale Venezia, 72, about 3km away.
Concerning the products, has Lazzaris always made mostarda or has it also experiments with other preparations?
When the company was moved out of the center of Conegliano, we also started the production of sweets, diversifying our offer. We produced fruit candies, chocolate candies, jellies, sugar pills etc. It was a very interesting production channel, as a child I enjoyed observing how they were made. Later, however, the candy market became very difficult, because of the big companies producing them. Then, we finally came back to our historical branch, the one of mostarda.
Mostarda itself has always walked alongside the company, since its foundation, while at times it was periodically joined by other products: candies, in the 50s-60s, and then products for ice cream in the 70s. At that time a boom period has marked the artisan ice cream parlors in our area and my father sensed that there was a need for this kind of products: we therefore made products for artisan ice cream parlors until 2000.
What pushed you towards the production of different types of mostarda, in addition to the Venetian one?
The market changes and we too have had to make choices. The path we choose was to abandon the ice cream market and to focus on our more traditional production: jams and mostarda. Starting from this point we increased our recipes, doing some research to understand which were the most popular kind of mostarda in Italy, and finally starting to produce them and offering the company a bigger commercial market. We mainly sold in Veneto: mostarda was consumed especially during the Christmas holidays, but to be more interesting also on a national level, we started to produce recipes from other regions, not that different from our basic product.
Finally, in the 80s and 90s, the export market grew a lot thanks to the boom of the Made in Italy which also focused on more particular products, other than pasta and pizza and, luckily, my great-grandfather – the founder – he was a very inclined to promote products abroad.
Today Lazzaris works with a good 25% of the foreign market: an excellent percentage especially for a product like ours, which continues to be a niche product.