Celebrating the 130th anniversary of our founder, Alfonso Crolla 1889
Alfonso Crolla was born in 1889 in a tiny hamlet called Fontitune, perched on a mountainside at 1000m on the Appenine mountain range in Lazio, between Rome and Naples.
His father, grandfather and forebears before him were all shepherds. He learned to tend sheep, guide his flock from pasture to pasture across mountains and valleys. He learned to milk the sheep, make cheese, sell cheese, sheer the sheep and sell the fleece. In his early 20’s, like tens of thousands of poor Italians, he emigrated to seek a better life.
In his early twenties he came to Edinburgh where his older cousin and brother had already settled. He started a family, sold ice cream, fought in WWI, came back, he made a bit of money and in 1934 joined Benedetto Valvona to establish Valvona & Crolla as a Limited Company - Italian Warehousemen importing Italian and Continental Produce and Wine for the fledgling Italian communities in the East of Scotland.
Alfonso’s son, Vittorio Crolla took over the business in 1945 and together with his brother-in-law, Carlo Contini, built up the reputation of the company and introduced Italian food and wine to the Scots. In 1986 Victor handed over to his nephew, Philip Contini. Philip and his wife, Mary expanded the shop, created the Caffe Bar and grew the business into different channels, not least Ecommerce.
In 2019 Philip handed over the reins to his elder daughter, Francesca Contini Mackie, with him, Mary and younger daughter Olivia in supporting roles. Valvona & Crolla is now run by Alfonso’s great-grand daughter. We are a fourth generation family business.
Our grateful thanks to four generations of loyal customers