The history of the Pietro Isnardi company stems from the family’s deep bond with their land, Liguria, rich in excellent native products where the tradition of olive cultivation dates back to Roman times. Pietro Isnardi, the forefather, entered the olive oil business in the early 1900s by training professionally at “Agnesi & Giaccone”, the first Italian company to sell olive oil by mail order.
Pietro Isnardi decided to set up his own business and founded the company of the same name in 1908. He began by selling olive oil in southern Piedmont, travelling on foot or by bicycle. Later he extended his business to other regions, also starting a mail order system, which was very innovative at the time.
At that time, olives were harvested completely by hand, passing long wooden poles between the branches that were used to beat the olives, which fell to the ground on large sheets and then were collected and placed in hemp bags and transported to the oil mill by animal-drawn carts.
In 1916, thanks to the renowned quality of its oil, the Pietro Isnardi company became the official supplier of the Royal House of Italy and obtained from King Victor Emmanuel III, a lover of good food, the authorization to bear the coat of arms of the House of Savoy.
This laid the foundations of a long olive oil tradition, made up of passion and dedication to this precious food which, thanks to the flourishing maritime trade from the port of Imperia, soon became known and appreciated all over the world.
A visionary innovator and a great entrepreneur deeply tied to his roots, Pietro Isnardi was one of the first to recognize the extraordinary nutritional and therapeutic properties of extra virgin olive oil.
1940s / 1950s
Since the 1940s, the Isnardi brand has become very popular throughout Italy by producing an olive oil for medicinal purposes, enriched with vitamins and calcium, later adding a hormone against malnutrition, thus making the product ideal for supplementing infant nutrition. Isnardi has consequently become the bearer of this new concept of health through nutrition, giving its product the names of “pure” and “drinkable oil”. During these years, the second generation immersed itself in the company and Pietro Isnardi and his son Carlo started a pharmaceutical division.
1950s / 1980s
In these years, Carlo together with his father Pietro, further developed the marketing of oils for therapeutic purposes and patented a series of new innovative products that soon became well known and used: Foille, Idustatin and later Blistex.
The Olio Isnardi brand was launched and promoted nationwide with advertising campaigns (billposting, advertising in newspapers and journals) alongside beautiful images illustrated by the best Italian designers of the time (Scolari, Giovanni Berio called “Ligustro”, Vuci) and was among one of the first companies in the food sector to invest in television advertising by promoting their oil with a commercial on the popular “CAROSELLO” show.
The Pietro Isnardi company grew from year to year, significantly increasing its production capacity until reaching, in the 70s / 80s, a total of over 250 employees, and it was in this period that Pietro Isnardi, the third generation, supported his father in the business management.
The 90s represented a turning point: the pharmaceutical branch was sold while the oil branch went from strength to strength, spreading the presence of its brands in the territory and innovating the entire production chain.
Pietro Isnardi moved the company from the old headquarters in Imperia Oneglia to the new headquarters in Pontedassio, about 5 km from the sea, renovating and modernizing the existing oil mill, increasing its range with two prestigious Ligurian brands of high-quality extra virgin olive oil: Ardoino (1870) and Guasco (1930).
With Pietro Isnardi, the company grew both in large-scale distribution and in retail trade, offering a wide range of high-quality products with great competence and ability.
Pietro Isnardi was among the first oil companies to believe in culinary events and in collaborations with great chefs including the great multi-starred chef Alain Ducasse.
It is precisely from this communication strategy that the business grew again, driven by the increasingly widespread distribution in the Italian territory of the renowned brands of the company which, with the Ardoino brand, had made itself known and appreciated, both in Italy and in foreign markets like in Japan.
“My commitment and my passion is to bring excellent products to your table.”
Carlo Isnardi represents the fourth generation and continues to pursue ambitious goals with professionalism and competence, without ever abandoning the passion and values that have distinguished the family history for over a century: love for his land and respect for its traditions, with particular attention to the innovation, safety and quality of its products.