The name Ditta Artigianale is certainly well known by all coffee lovers in Florence. The coffe bar and coffee roasting plant, that entrepreneur Francesco Sanapo opened in 2014, proved to be a quality brand in a very short time. Those who look at the culture of coffee from a Slow Movement perspective, see now Ditta Artigianale as a point of reference. Last month, Sanapo has expanded its activities, backing up the headquarters in Via dei Neri with a new branch, located in Via dello Sprone, in Oltrarno. The event was the opportunity for a pleasant chat.
“The idea behind Ditta Artigianale comes from my previous work experience”, explains Francesco. “For a long time I have been a consultant for various coffee trading companies: a job that led me to investigate the matter and to develop a passion. I eventually felt the need to create my own project. I was inspired by the craft tradition that made coffee an example of made in Italy, all over the world. Nowadays 90% of the coffee is bought on the internet, while I have a direct relationship with manufacturers. I want to talk to them, make them feel proud to sell their product, as much as I am to buy it“.
The brand, founded in 2013, initially christened the coffee roasting activities. The coffee bar was born the following year. “I realized that selling my mixtures to coffee bars was complicated for various reasons, which in my view are both inconvenient and unethical. Also, most of the time I saw very little passion in those behind the desk. That’s why I chose to open my own place: so that I could illustrate my product in the way that I like it“.
A gamble that seems to have met the appreciation of the public. “People have reacted with curiosity, probably because we speak a language that is different from what they were accustomed to. We are trying to rejuvenate the coffee, to make it a fascinating product again. Most of the time, coffee is not tasted, but swallowed as if it was a medicine, in order to wake up. I do not want this to happen in my place“.
The philosophy remains the same, but Ditta Artigianale Oltrarno displays different features from the headquarters in Via dei Neri. For instance, in architectural terms: rooms are more spacious, refined and bright, and the bar spreads over two floors. The coffee bar/breakfast area, on the ground floor, merges with the outside thanks to large windows. The second floor is dedicated to the lunch/dinner area and features a stylish gallery. “The two places have completely different identities – Francesco tells us – but I want it to be this way. Ditta Artigianale Oltrarno is located within a historic building, designed by Michelucci after the war. We have tried to respect the heritage and the style, keeping furniture and design in line with the characteristics of the building“.
News are coming from the gastronomic point of view too: “We want this place to make customers feel welcome from 08:00 am to 12:00 pm. Therefore, beside coffee and breakfast, we offer for the first time a full restaurant service, at lunch and dinner, run by chef Arturo Dori. We also display a wide selection of cocktails and spirits“. Not only quality coffee, then, but a culture of well-being that is 360° wide, and spreads over every hour of the day.
Pictures by Andrea Moretti