Visit the “Pagani Museum” page to see all the period material related to our factory and our old products!
From the 1920s to the Second World War
The history of Pagani begins in the 1920s, when Arturo Pagani was persuaded by his father Enrico, a baker, to revive a pasta factory in Vimercate called “Pastificio Paraboni”, which then became “Pastificio Pagani Arturo”. During the Second World War, Pastificio Pagani Arturo experienced a period of particular success, as it was commissioned by the Municipality of Vimercate and some other nearby municipalities to produce the pasta necessary for the residents’ needs, who were then subject to rationing. On the other hand, the end of rationing, combined with a fire involving the factory, the rising of two other pasta factories in Vimercate and some financial difficulties, led in 1945 to the decision to sell the “Pastificio Pagani Arturo”, which was first purchased by the Carisch family, now active in the music publishing sector, and then by the Corno brothers of Vimercate, who renamed it to “Pastificio Vimercatese”.
After the Second World War: the start of the partnership with Pastificio De Cecco and the birth of Pagani Industrie Alimentari
Arturo Pagani passed away in 1947 and his widow Anna Pagani, known as Mina, tried to undertake a new activity in order to support herself and her two children, Enrico and Gianfranco, taking advantage of the fact that the “Pastificio Vimercatese” of the Corno brothers had to stay closed for a few months for machinery maintenance. Consumers were tired of the bad quality pasta whose supply was guaranteed to them through rationing, and were increasingly looking for high quality pasta. Therefore, Ms. Mina, who was from Abruzzo, introduced herself to the De Cecco family, whose pasta factory in Fara San Martino had been destroyed by the war bombing; De Cecco was also almost unknown in Northern Italy, where its products were not distributed at that time. Ms. Mina offered to buy a truck of De Cecco pasta with the money she received from the sale of the Pastificio Pagani Arturo to the Carisch family, and – as she had still stayed in touch with the customers of her husband’s old pasta factory – she managed to sell the pasta in short time, thus winning the trust of the De Cecco family: it was the beginning of a parntership that lasted over thirty years, during which the Pagani family was the official distributor of the De Cecco products for the whole of Northern Italy. At the same time, Ms. Mina managed to purchase a building near the warehouse used for the storage of the De Cecco products in Vimercate, where a new revolutionary machine that allowed the automated production of tortellini and ravioli was then installed: “Pagani Industrie Alimentari” was finally born.
The 1950s and the 1960s
With aim of minimizing the quantity of unsold goods, Pagani improved the production process of filled pasta with two patents that allowed to extend the shelf life of the product to six months and then to one year. These innovations also allowed a national distribution of tortellini and ravioli, expanding the market beyond the local area. In addition to stuffed pasta, the company also produced gnocchi, a gastronomy line (which included Olivier salads, ham roulades, pâté and mayonnaise), breadsticks, preparations for pizza and a line of bakery products such as pain de mie, rusks, small pandoros and angel wings (“chiacchiere”). Commercial policy was therefore structured in two “branches”. On the one hand, fresh products were sold regionally to small shopkeepers or wholesalers with “attempted sale” policies. On the other hand, the marketing of long-life products and De Cecco pasta took place “on order”, with the goods being delivered in the following days. In those years the company also undertook an ambitious marketing communication policy: in fact, the Pagani brand was advertised on television, in cinemas and on local radios, and the company offered promotional operations (discounts, 3×2 etc.) and prize competitions (travels, watches etc.) addressed to retailers.
The 1970s and the 1980s
In 1967 Enrico and Gianfranco Pagani began the construction of a new modern factory, where the company moved two years later and where it is still located nowadays. The 70s – a difficult period marked by strong inflation – saw the increasingly marked affirmation of the first national supermarket chains: as the small food shops rapidly closed down, Pagani consequently modified its commercial policy, progressively reducing the selling of fresh products in favor of its long-life products and the De Cecco brand. At the beginning of the 80s the Pastificio De Cecco was then stably established on the market: the partnership was resolved consensually, maintaining excellent relations between the parties, and at the same time Pagani decided to focus only on dried filled pasta, stopping the production of fresh and gastronomy products. Tortellini and ravioli were sold on the market thanks to a commercial network of agents and representatives who got in touch with supermarkets. The company also began to focus more on the food service sector and, starting from the 90s, also on discount stores, a new sales channel for Italy, with specifically formulated commercial policies.
From the 1990s to today
As the third generation – Paolo and Alessandro Pagani – joined the company, Pagani has considerably increased production volumes and its market share, consolidating its presence on the foreign market. In 2009-2010 the plant was enlarged, doubling its indoor surface. Today Pagani continues to sustain its own brand and also largely produces for third parties (other food companies and numerous private labels).