As Chief Executive Officer of ABW Appliances, brands frequently approach me to display and try the newest and most innovative lines. Recently a brand named Tecnogas garnered my attention, and this is the story of my experience and their heritage.
This trip was planned to view, touch, and experience all that this brand has to offer. Upon arrival in Gualtieri, Italy-considered by most to be the home of Italian engineering thanks in part to the Ferrari factory located just a short ride away-I was struck by how simple the building and architecture appeared. The exterior showed the years of life adding character and charm, kept exactly as it was originally built. There were no shiny corners, glass finishes or massive branding on the outside, just a simple welcoming stone walkway into the entrance.
The inside of the building had the same feel of heritage and comfort as the outside, almost feeling like coming home. Friendly faces greeted us through every station of the assembly line, where the male to female employee ratio was close to 50/50-a rarity in the manufacturing field. Eager to learn more about this company and where they started, the Executives led us to where the presentation would take place, stopping briefly in a simple room in the warehouse where 4 ranges were turned on full blast.
Every single cooking component from the surface to the oven was turned on to high, at which point I was invited to touch the glass front (known as the bullnose) and knobs of each range. These ranges had been turned on 2 hours prior to our arrival to demonstrate how cool the external temperature will stay on these units despite being turned on as high as they could go. Hot external surfaces on ranges have long been a concern in the professional range industry because of children, pets and general safety concerns. I was surprised to touch and realize not only was it not hot, but at room temperature. Each range also had a variety of options and features, like induction, griddle, different gas burner configurations as well as a large array of vibrant color options.
The product presentation took place in a similarly old, simple, clean warehouse room with the same old-world feel. The US market sales strategy seemed adequate but not rushed. Many foreign appliance companies rush to enter the US market, forgetting that the US consumer has different needs and wants than consumers in Europe. Tecnogas has taken a unique approach to their US launch making a model that has all of the heritage of their original product, performance, and sleek modern design but also offering the largest oven released in the US market.
While there, we were honored to meet one of the original founders, one of the Contini brothers who started this brand in 1952 with the “passionate vision” to create this one of a kind appliance, and find not only was he alive and well, but living on the property of the manufacturing plant. He smiled with pride and offered hugs to our group, relishing in watching another group of people fall in love with his product that his brother named Tecnogas.
The visit to the Tecnogas factory was amazing. Not only did we feel like we were welcomed into someone’s home, but it was clear that they do not view their product as just another box in a warehouse. Maybe that’s why I felt so akin to this product and it’s company—that is the same philosophy that ABW uses in our approach to selling product. As a result, I am happy to announce that ABW Appliances will not only carry the product, we have committed to showcase it live and in color in a setting that represents the heritage and style of Italy.
By the way—when we left, those 4 ranges were still on, and I had to run over and check again to make sure they were still just room temperature to the touch. Such is the simple joys during the journey of an appliance nerd.
Juan Caripa, CEO