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Our Heritage

Over 70 years ago, Cantarella Bros Pty Ltd, now trading as Vittoria Food & Beverage started importing Italian products into Australia.  However, when it came to coffee, we knew that coffee tastes best when it is fresh, so in 1958 we began roasting in Australia.

 

Since then we have passionately driven the growth of espresso coffee and pioneered the development of Australian cafe-culture.

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The Beginning

Importing Italian and European goods since 1947.

Two Italian brothers Orazio and Carmelo first spotted an opportunity to introduce a taste of their Italian heritage to Australia after migrating from Sicily.

 

Beginning as a small family business importing products including mineral water, parmesan cheese and pasta to their adoptive country, they were longing for the much-loved Italian ritual of a daily espresso.

Roasting

In 1958, the brothers began locally roasting their own premium 100% Arabica beans right here in Australia - long before the market understood this measure of quality.

The Cantarella Brothers began supplying small batches of the finest quality Arabica coffee to Sydney's first Italian cafés and restaurants, with each blend personally created by the family.

The Brothers’ ambition was to make Italian style coffee famous in Australia and the Vittoria Coffee brand was born. 

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Roasting 100% Arabica coffee in Australia since 1958.

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Today

Over 1 billion cups of VFB Coffee are sold every year.

Vittoria Coffee has grown to become a household name and continues to set the standard for Australia’s ingrained café culture and obsession with coffee. 

We are the pioneers of the great Australian Coffee Industry and today, Vittoria Coffee is Australia's No. 1 Pure Coffee brand*.

 

We have remained a proud, third-generation Australian family owned business

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Les Schirato AM
Owner & CEO

Les Schirato is an inspiring entrepreneur who has played a major role in shaping the coffee industry in Australia. It's his entrepreneurial flair that has seen him awarded with a number of accolades such as Entrepreneur of the Year in 2001. Widely known as Australia's 'Coffee King', Les Schirato is the man behind the success of Vittoria Coffee – Australian's No.1 pure coffee brand*.

Les commenced full time employment at Cantarella Bros (trading as Vittoria Food & Beverage) in 1972 and was appointed Group Managing Director in 1993.

 

Today, Les and his family are the company owners.

Les' unprecedented success in achieving consistent sales growth in the highly competitive pure coffee market is no accident. His energy, drive and passion over a career spanning almost 50 years combined with his sales and marketing expertise has heralded an explosion in the popularity of espresso coffee in Australia.

An industry leader, Les has served as President of the Australian Coffee and Tea Association and is now an honorary life member. He is also a member of YPO Gold  and has served as chair of YPO Gold.

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Awards

​Les' passion and his service to the community through philanthropic contributions to health, youth, social welfare organisations and to business was recognised with him being awarded a member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2008.

  • In 2022, Les Schirato was awarded the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic for his generous and passionate support in philanthropic and humanitarian efforts.
     

  • In 2017,  Les Schirato was awarded a Knighthood of the Order of Merit by Decree of the French President for his work between Australia and France in the area of trade and tourism.
     

  • In 2016, Les Schirato was awarded the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) Lifework Individual Award for his contributions to the Australian coffee industry and the Food & Beverage industry at large. For services to the community and philanthropic contributions to health, youth, rural areas, social welfare and those less fortunate. For investing time and mentoring of youth in business and talent.
     

  • In 2013 Les Schirato was inducted into the Italian Chamber of Commerce as well as the Industry's Hall of Fame. This honour was in recognition of his outstanding career and cultural achievements to date.
     

  • In 2013 Les Schirato was announced as an ambassador for the Italian Chamber for Commerce.
     

  • In 2008 Les Schirato was honoured with the CIRA Award, for his outstanding contribution to Italian Culinary Culture.
     

  • In 2001 Les Schirato was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (consumer and industrial goods).
     

  • In 1998 Les Schirato was awarded the Paul Harris Medal by the Belrose Rotary Club for Vittoria's ongoing help given to Camp Quality children's cancer charity. Honoured with the CIRA Award, for his outstanding contribution to Italian Culinary Culture.

Rolando Schirato
Managing Director

Les is joined by his son, Rolando, Managing Director of Vittoria Food & Beverage.

 

With more than 25 years experience at Vittoria, Rolando held various positions in Sales and Marketing prior to taking on the role of MD. 

 

He is responsible for the widely acclaimed Al Pacino campaign, as well as many of the innovative and successful new product launches and international expansion. 

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Hands on Approach

It’s the family’s deep involvement that ensures consistency and quality across the board. The family personally leads all blend development, with both Les and Rolando, instrumental in every creation within the Vittoria Coffee range.

It’s a commitment that is reflected in Les’ title of Master Blender, in addition to CEO.

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Meet the Senior Management Team

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Gabriella Schirato
Chief People Officer

Gabriella is a 3rd generation family member of Vittoria Food & Beverage. She has a background in Human Resources, Marketing and Family Business Advisory.
 

After graduating from university with both Business & Psychology degrees, Gabriella joined Vittoria for a short period before leaving the family business for 15 years, during which time she worked for a number of leading organisations including HSBC, Coca-Cola Amatil and PwC.
 

Gabriella rejoined Vittoria in 2020 to lead People & Culture, and is now our Chief People Officer.

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Matthew Hill
Chief Operating Officer

Matt has over 30 years’ experience in the FMCG sector and has been a member of the senior management team for 18 years.
Matt leads the Domestic and International Supply Chain function including manufacturing, procurement, and Information Technology.

 

A key member of the new product development team Matt has been part of some of Vittoria’s greatest successes including launching coffee capsules, coffee bags and instant coffee.

 

He holds a Bachelor of Business degree and is a qualified CPA along with being a Justice of the Peace.

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Fred Audi
Group Financial Controller

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Simon Creswick
GM Food Service

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