To become the leader in an industry that had yet to be invented, a pasta artisan needed to become a ground-breaking entrepreneur, gifted with an infallible instinct.
This is the story of Giovanni Rana.
Right from when he came into the world on 15 October 1937 in Cologna Veneta near Verona, Giovanni threw the Rana family somewhat into disarray. He preferred manual labour to schoolwork and in 1950, at the young age of 13, he joined his siblings at the family bakery in San Giovanni Lupatoto.
Giovanni quickly learned the secrets of baking, but the future had something very different in store for him than anyone had imagined.
The company and work evolved rapidly and Giovanni was ready to seize new opportunities: in 1960, Italy was in the midst of the economic boom, which led to an increase in wealth, consumption and employment, including for women. This last factor provided the spark that brought about a new business.
“If young wives no longer have the time to make tortellini, I’ll make them for them!”, he must have said to himself, before purchasing the legendary second-hand Guzzino motorbike for 18,000 lire that he used to deliver pasta to his very first customers.
This was how home-made pasta became the refrigerated pasta brought to you by Giovanni Rana.
The doors of the Rana Pasta Factory were officially opened on 28 March 1962. It was a great milestone worthy of celebration, but taking a break now was out of the question. Two hands were no longer enough to make the tortellini; four were needed, then eight and finally 16, when Giovanni realised it was time to embrace a new growth strategy.
It was time for home-made pasta according to an Italian tradition handed down from generation to generation to become refrigerated pasta produced on an industrial scale.
The machines available at the time were not efficient enough for the type of production Giovanni had in mind. With the help of local engineers and mechanics, he designed and developed new equipment able to meet the growing demand for volume and varieties of pasta.
The investment was significant and hard to sustain, but was soon repaid: production grew from 15 kg of tortellini per hour to hundreds of kilograms per hour...definitely too much to fit in the basket of his motorbike!
The time had come for Giovanni Rana’s filled pasta to travel all over Italy.
The 1970s began and the company needed a larger factory. It was only natural that Giovanni would decide to build it in San Giovanni Lupatoto, near his new home.
It was not only the business that grew during these years, but also Giovanni’s ambition; the more his attachment to the area he had grown up in increased, the more convinced he became that he needed to begin distributing Rana products to new markets outside Italy.
Italian families already adored Giovanni and his tortellini when Gian Luca, his only son and current CEO, began working at the company. Just as he had seen his father do, he dreamed big and his first goal was to share Giovanni Rana products and the joy of good Italian cuisine with the rest of Europe.
Within a few years his dream had come true, but with such a large customer base you have to find a new way to make a name for yourself and get straight to people’s hearts. The company began investing in advertising and Giovanni was quick to agree to put his face to it.
The Rana family’s dream of taking their products to the USA not only came true but became even bigger!
Today the Rana family is growing more and more all over the world.