Cairns man with a Sole lot of ambition
ITALIAN cook Alessandro Lancini has started importing Sole natural sparkling water from his home town of Brescia.
The 34-year-old said he noticed a demand for imported bottled water in restaurants and other outlets in Cairns, particularly Italian brands.
"But Sole tastes better and comes in a nicer bottle," he said.
"The idea of importing Sole Water from Italy comes from a good friend of mine who lives on the Sunshine Coast and he originally comes from my home town, Brescia."
Mr Lancini said Sole Water was the latest product of Alberto Lunardini's business Elite Cafe in Brisbane and on the Sunshine and Gold coasts.
"Elite Cafe has the exclusive for Australia for the Sole Arte bottle and the company offered me the opportunity to become a wholesaler for North Queensland," he said.
"I strongly believe that this product has a great potential in North Queensland, representing something completely new on the market that cannot be found in retail shops and that offers qualities and style perfectly matching the current hospitality trends and the growing customer expectations.
"Sole mineral water is well known in many other countries around the world, in fact the export market of the company represents about 80 per cent of the total production."
Mr Lancini said consumers' tastes were becoming discerning and more sophisticated and there was demand for sparkling water in designer bottles.
"The bottle itself is very attractive and the first main selling point, making it particularly suited for high-profile restaurants and cafes looking to provide an elegant and exclusive product with their own specialties.
"In Cairns for the moment it is only available in a few businesses such as Casa De Meze, Momiji Sushi at Raintrees, and in some vending machines in a nursing home at Earlville and at the Great Barrier Reef International Marine College at Portsmith.
"I found a lot of businesses and general public interested in the product and I believe that I will find new customers very soon, especially targeting resorts and hotels in town, the northern beaches and Port Douglas.
"The general feedback I received is that the water taste is very special and particularly distinct and that the bottles are very elegant and different from anything on the market."
Fonte Sole, in the village of Nuvolento in Lombardy, is a family-operated business founded by Battista Bodei in 1896. His grandson Giuseppe runs the business and continues the tradition of employing only local people. The bottle is recycled glass and the label recycled paper.
Mr Lancinic moved from Brescia to Cairns in March 2006. He obtained a diploma in hospitality management at TAFE in 2010 and became a permanent resident last year.
He has been employed at the Ibis Styles Cairns Colonial Club as a cook since 2009.
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Cheers: Alessandro Lancini is the distributor for Sole natural sparkling water from his home town in Italy. Picture: MARC McCORMACK