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“Our work is done completely with our hands”: this is how Nicoletta Cirelli, 63, tells the soul of Manifattura Coima, a company founded with her husband Alessandro in 1987 in a 1700s farmhouse in Bastia, in the province of Ravenna. With their daughter Jessica, they are the protagonists of CNA Storie of September. Ten women are employed here and they make food supplements and natural liqueurs from medicinal plants. An annual production of 210,000 pieces. Truth be told, a machine for attaching labels was there. Not a small expense. But it was put away. Because a hand-glued label is something else. That’s why a bottle of gentian or a vial of propoli – if they come out of here- can well be called an artifact. The process is entirely manual: “We start touching the herbs we infuse -explains Nicoletta-, mix, filter, blend them together, bottle, label and package them, all manually. This allows us to offer many different types of bottles to very different customers.”
The dual soul of Coima Manufatto
Coima has a double soul and intercepts as many audiences: on the one hand, those who resort to dietary supplements, and on the other, fans of natural liqueurs. A creative work, Alessandro defines it. This is where blends and combinations that become specialties for enthusiasts are born every day. Fruit of intuition, experience and in-depth knowledge of a true craft. Born from a passion for nature and medicinal herbs. Nicoletta and Alessandro followed this passion and enrolled in the herbal medicine course at the University of Urbino. “Once we graduated as herbalists” Nicoletta explains “we developed our small business to meet the demand of the monastic orders, which had in-house pharmacies and produced their own syrups and mother tinctures. They wanted us to produce for them because they could no longer cope with the bureaucracy.”
The obstacle course of bureaucracy
Bureaucracy and regulations are a real ballast that takes time and energy away from entrepreneurs in this sector. Unless there are those who study for them: like CNA Ravenna, which has been a valuable and valuable support for Nicoletta since the company’s inception. “Food businesses have a lot of red tape, laws change from one day to the next. So having the certainty of having an association like CNA behind us, with professionals who study every day for us, is a fundamental thing.”
Laws change overnight. Having CNA in support, with professionals studying every day for us, is a key thing
Coima products and liquor for third parties
Ninety percent of production is for third parties, who choose a particular liqueur and entrust Coima with its production. From herb selection to bottling, complete with custom labeling. And then there are the customers who supply the raw materials and delegate all the rest of the process to Coima. On these shelves is the story of a territory: Cervia salt for Malandrino, Romagna cherries for Rosolio, and Gin made from local thistle and lavender.
Generational transmission and attention to human capital
The future is in the hands of Jessica, 39: “I see that these young people have an edge and relate well to each other,” says Nicoletta, “and they can manage marketing from a technological perspective. “How do I imagine Coima in 10 years? The way it is now!” replies Jessica. Innovation here is all about attention to human capital, continuous research and the selection of top-quality raw materials. Because Coima is above all a women’s company-a purposeful choice to offer women in this area an opportunity for personal fulfillment. “Since they all live near the company they can go home, pick up their children from school, and this is an added value of which we are proud,” says Nicoletta.
In the pictures you can sense the industriousness of the large laboratory and the warmth of the welcoming family. Unfortunately there is no nose on the microphone: an aroma sensor to gather all the power of these blends.