June 10, 2015
Andrea Tosolini introduced to Florida and to other states the excellence of Italian products through his import business called "Fruit of the Boot". The most requested variety of Loison Panettone is definitely the Marron Glacé, whose flavor and packaging catch the attention of the American clientele.
With a master’s degree in Russian Language and Literature from Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Andrea Tosolini has a background in foreign trade. Years back, while working for a Vicenza-based company, he met Dario Loison.
"I've known Dario for about 25 years, that’s a quarter of a century... - says Andrea. After the five-year professional experience in Vicenza, I went from East to West. I seized the opportunity to attend a master’s degree program in Gainesville, Florida, and I settled there, after meeting my future wife. At that time, I opened my import business of Italian specialties and that’s how I got back in touch with Dario. It was 1998".
What kind of products does your business import?
Fruit of the Boot specializes in niche products: authentic balsamic vinegar, artisanal pasta, coffee, premium extra virgin olive oil and Loison confections. My clients are mostly based in Florida and consist of reputable retailers that sell gourmet food and wines. My business is about quality, not quantity."
People like you are known as Loison’s Ambassadors…
"When I first heard about Dario Loison’s idea of creating Ambassadors, I already felt like one. In addition to the honor of being part of that circle, it is a great pleasure for me to be able to uphold Italian food and wine. Loison Panettone represents some of the best Italian products available, the excellence of a baking tradition that has lasted over 70 years. I am very familiar with the business, having met Dario’s parents and family. Every time I go to Italy, Dario showers me with novelties and new stories."
What’s the most favorite variety of Panettone in the USA?
Number 1 is the Panettone with Marron Glacés: it is so special, what with the pieces of candied chestnuts nestled in the dough and the delicious chestnut cream in the center. The Mandarin is also in high demand, what with its intense Mediterranean fragrance. Finally it is the Tart Cherry. In short, the sweet breads featuring fruit are among the most sought after."
What is it that people like the most: the confection of the packaging?
"The two actually go hand in hand. Americans are primarily attracted to the packaging, then to the product. Selling such a beautiful and delicious Panettone is a wonderful thing. When I organize an event or I go visit my clients and bring them Loison products, I’m always delighted because I know I’ll make a great impression."
Is there a Loison-related memory or event that you recall that brings a smile to your face?
“Yes, there is. When I organize events featuring Loison confections, especially away from the big cities, I meet Americans, as well as many Italians, who have never had an authentic artisanal Panettone. They might have had a mediocre or industrially produced product, so they’re always surprised when they taste such a good, soft and fragrant sweet bread. They never fail to ask me: "Is this what a real Italian Panettone is supposed to taste like?" This brings me the greatest satisfaction, offering a true taste of Italy."