I was born in the middle of the 19th Century, at the foothills of the Italian Alps.
My passion for cheese grew over time, and my lifetime ambition was to find ways to share our Italian cheese expertise, know-how and quality with the World.
My land is characterised by lush alpine pastures both in the plain and in the mountains, below the massif of Grigna in Lombardy.
From such a generous landscape only the best milk could come!
The so-called "bergamini", seasonal dairy-men, used to make and cure cheeses, as the tradition and know-how of the area - to improve preservation and storage.
Typical of Valsassina is the grotta, made in tufa and sedimentary rocks, naturally refrigerated at 5-7° C temperature and with 70% of humidity - the ideal environment for cheese maturation and storage.
Here is were local countrymen produced little quantities of cheeses, to consumer with their families at home or to sell locally: soft cheeses (like robiola, taleggio and stracchino) were produced at the foothils, while, hard cheeses (like Grana Padano) down the plain.
I was born in 1858. My father was a blacksmith, but he liked to produce cheeses during
Summer, with the milk of our and our neighbours' cows.
I was supposed to grow-up as a blacksmith too, but i found out that my real passion was
the other activity of my father: the production of cheese. Finally, he encouraged me to
follow my inner talento.
In the middle of the 1870s, i started assimilating the know-how from local dairy-men. They were selling their cheese specialities in the near market.
Pretty soon, i started handling the whole cheese production cycle.
After the military service in Sicily, I decided to visit France, where I looked into the production of renown and premium soft cheeses - like brie, camembert and roquefort.
Once back to Italy, I immediately started experimenting, taking advantage from those learnings and know-how: my biggest ambition was to share Italian cheese specialities with as many people as possible and at an accessible price.
In 1882, in my home town Ballabio, I opened the "Caseificio Galbani Davide", in honour of my father.
Robiola, my first branded product, was born at that time - which later in 1900 won the first prize at the Exposition
Universelle de Paris.
"The fact that the Jury at the Paris World's Fair of 1900 awarded me the First Prize, is the most evident and irrefutable proof that my specialties can compete with those of any other Country" (Egidio Galbani)
In 1911 we opened a new site in the city of Melzo, down in the plain and not too far from our original firm in Valsassina, and next to the modern and fast improving railway system. From that strategic position our cheeses could efficiently reach Milano and the entire Lombardy region: a fantastic progress for our ambitious activity.
Inside the factory, all the latest technologies were installed - especially the first refrigerators and the steam engine, thus, leading to a process standardisation, still driven with the attitude of a dairy man. Actually, the first dairy Industry in Italy was born.
I was one of the few to leverage the progress offered by the recent industrial development.
Refrigerators and steam engines helped reproducing the same conditions that we had in the grottos in Valsassina: progress was a real thing, and i embraced it with gusto!
Thanks to those important innovations, i had the opportunity to realise my dream: Italian quality cheeses, historically too persihable to be rought far from the dairy-man farm, were now available on a large scale.
At this point, I also started creating new products - based on the increasingly higher consumers expectations and needs.
In the following decades we expanded our business throughout the whole Country and beyond. With 5 plants opened in Lombardy, up to 5.000 workers were overall hired.
A development model that dedicated much attention to the people and their families. And that is actually how we felt internally: an enlarged family, the Galbani family.
We've always felt patriotic and close to the real needs of our people.
During and after World War II, we helped the troops and the convalescents recover by nourishing them with the intrinsic nutritional quality of cheeses: distributed to hospitals and to the population.
In the 2nd half of the XX century, Galbani reached a huge and impactful distribution model: something like 2.700 dedicated representatives were travelling throughout Italy - bringing our Galbani fresh cheeses to increasingly discerning consumers.
They have been driving their Galbani colorful van - one that Italians still recognise and love to see in the street!
We've been hearing customers and consumers to anticipate their expectations, feedback and suggestions. We've created innovative products, ridden the rèclame and advertised our Italian specialities with care and passion.
We adopted new distribution strategies.Advertising and packaging have been among the most amazing and impactful of Italian collective imagery through our XX century.