News: Behind the Scenes


Vittoria at National Restaurant Association Trade Fair

Chicago is known for its jagged skyline, deep-dish pizza and for the annual National Restaurant Association (NRA) trade fair, which unfolds every May. It is the largest gathering of the hospitality industry in the US, a showcase for food purveyors, beverage makers, tableware companies and technology pioneers. This year, Vittoria Coffee made a strong impression at the buzzy event for its inaugural showing.

Team Vittoria created a custom-designed espresso bar that immediately set the brand apart from 1800 other exhibitors. Composed of dark wood, marble and brass, and equipped with a Faema E61 coffee machine, four dapper baristas, and a Santa Vittoria water bar, the stand cast a seductive spell. It resembled a high-end café; from Milan transplanted to Chicago's McCormick Place Convention Center. Showgoers thronged the stand from the get-go, eagerly sampling our espresso and cold brew menu.
The exhibit was manned by 15 staff members, from our Sydney and LA offices, who prepared thousands of coffees over the four-day event, and interacted with industry delegates. The show drew more than 42,000 buyers, testing, tasting and exploring the culinary offerings. "It was an ideal event to meet premium partners from all over the United States, including well-established hotel groups and restaurants," said Rolando Schirato, Vittoria's Managing Director. "It enabled us to demonstrate our abilities, our scale, and the way we combine Italian heritage with Australian execution."

Educating American drinkers about the way Vittoria makes coffee was also integral to the event. When attendees asked our baristas for "a black coffee with cream and sweetener - a typical request - they were persuaded to try a perfectly made flat-white or frothy latte instead. "People loved the taste of our coffee - it was an amazing reaction," said Schirato. "Over time we can change drinking habits. The show enabled us to spread the Vittoria gospel in a compelling, sophisticated and unique manner."