TRADE CATALOGUE. Catalogo Generale Buitoni. Anno 1 – Num. 2. (Sansepolcro): (Gio. & F.lli Buitoni), December (1934).

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Catalogo Generale Buitoni. Anno 1 – Num. 2.
(Sansepolcro): (Gio. & F.lli Buitoni), December (1934).

4to (250 × 200 mm), pp.45 (35-38 bound out of sequence), [1]. 19 additional leaves bound in, 18 of which are printed on glassine. 4 black-and-white photographs, 40 pages of coloured photographs. Introduction in Italian, French, Spanish, English, and German. Colour printed spiral-bound card covers; light foxing to preliminary pages, small chips to covers, corner of lower cover and last few pages marked. Laid in is a typed note on letter-headed paper giving details of changes to the products in the catalogue. With a price and ordering booklet dated January 1938 and the printed mailing envelope. About near-fine in the worn original envelope.

First edition of this beautiful catalogue which showcases the numerous varieties of pasta produced by Buitoni. Buitoni began in 1827 when Giovan Battista Buitoni and his wife Giulia Boninsegni opened a small shop in Sansepolcro. It was their great-grandson Giovanni who was largely responsible for establishing the family name as one of the worlds leading pasta manufacturers. In 1909 at the age of 18, he took over general management of Perugina, a chocolate company which was co-founded by his father a few years earlier. He continued to work for the family businesses and in 1938 he became CEO of both the Perugina and the Buitoni companies. The following year he and his wife, opera singer Letizia Cairone were invited by Hershey's to the New York Worlds Fair where they were apparently appalled at the quality of food on offer to visitors. Whilst they were abroad, Italy entered World War II, thus preventing their return home. In response to this change in circumstances and in reaction to their miserable eating experiences at the fair, they established the Buitoni Foods Corporation, which eventually grew to incorporate factories in Brooklyn and Jersey City, a spaghetti restaurant in Times Square, and a Perugina shop on 5th Avenue.

In 1953 Giovanni returned to Italy to found the International Buitoni Organization which would coordinate all of the family's industrial activities. He continued to spend much time in the United States where he was very active in promoting U.S. - Italian relations. In 1963 he realised his greatest dream when he hired Carnegie Hall, an orchestra, and four opera singers to accompany him as he performed his favourite arias. The New York Times reported that, 'Mr Buitoni made up for the lack of power in his singing with the ardor necessary for the role.' In 1985, the Buitoni companies were purchased by Carlo De Benedetti who subsequently sold them in 1988 to their current owner Nestle for 1.4 billion dollars.


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