Florindo Fregnan, entrepreneur and emblem of “made in Italy” has died yesterday morning.
This morning, at the age of 87, our Founder Florindo Fregnan has died. Florindo was inventor, industrial, pioneer, philanthropist and father of a family that has turned Elektra into one of the most appreciated coffee machine brand in the world. “My Ferrari”, so he used to call his jewels of design and technology, that he started to build ever since the end of the war and never stopped.
One of those lives you would like to read in a book of adventure and seems to be born to feed the North-East Italy myth.
In 1947 Florindo Fregnan opens with his dad a micro workshop where repairs and builds espresso machines. After four years it has already become a big workshop and in the mid fifties, you can already define it a factory, with highly skilled workers and technology that would be more reasonable to find in a northern district Europe or the US, not in Treviso, then still a suburban town dedicated to rural economy. The reason for the growth is all in the advanced vision of Florindo, that in a city still occupied by the rubble of war, already spoke of low maintenance and ergonomically designed machines. And immediately after speaking, these concepts took shape, because the founder of Elektra had what it was necessary to become an entrepreneur. In 1950, two and a half years after the inauguration of the first micro laboratory, there was the first turn and it was a turning point both for him and for the bars around the world. In that year Florindo Fregnan patented and created the first espresso machine with automatic idraulico group, employed still today. Since then the number of inventions and patents are continuing at almost frenetic pace. They arrive in sequence the controller float without fittings, the automatic dispensing unit with solenoid valve (also still adopted by all the espresso machines in the world, of every size and brand), the electronic control of adjustment to five doses …
Even one of these brilliant solutions would justify the creation of a new company, but the volcanic and curious personality of Fregnan always went a step forward and then here he patented a machine to cook spaghetti expresso, which successfully sold to a Japanese businessman. There was no time to follow even that project, as he had something else in his mind. His goal is called generational shift for his two sons and his daughter Barbara, who did her studies in the maentime. In the mid-80s, one after the other, they joined the company: Andrea, currently chief engineer, designer and head of production and Federico, who will become the new general manager (Barbara then decided to devote herself to the family). Florindo entrusted the two sons with the task of launching the company upon all the markets around the world and to build new and beautiful machines. So while at that time, many companies in the Northeast began to suffer and disappeared under the effect of a bad management, Elektra started to get an international dimension. And in this period Elektra machines made their appearance in the homes of many Hollywood actors, diplomats and VIPs in general, decreeing the final success as the finest coffee machines in the world. For the next twenty years, the founder of Elektra will follow with love the professional growth of his two sons. He has never left the company, where he was present until the last day, but got the role of President. At the end of the 2000s the effects of the recession have felt even in his company, but he is adamant on one point: do not dismiss anyone!Years of sacrifices and rearrangements followed without any employee left at home and when at the end of the last year the general director Federico Fregnan announced the official end of the crisis, the first thought went to the President, who sat among them at the Christmas dinner, as it happened every year for the past seventy years.
Like all great men from the complex personality, Florindo Fregnan fed during his long life different passions, among them the strongest were those for art and beautiful things, he was also a great art collector as well as loved hunting in salt marsh, he dedicated to in his spare time.
In silence and discretion, he is now lknown for his philanthropic activities, which operated following the directions of the ecclesiastical authorities. Poor families, children in need, Catholic missions, these were the cases he mostly loved to dedicate himself with the same strong determination he protectedhis little big secret. Florindo Fregnan was born November 19, 1928