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The diligence and persistence of the family, along with the great quality of their products, they achieve a resounding success, that gives them the opportunity to expand the building designated to the breeding, and lately to renovate the butchery, which is essential to be able to supply a few wholesalers and the numerous butcheries scattered throughout the island.
In 1991 the family moves to Milan, to guarantee their youngest son Gianni his needed medical treatment: this relocation will mark the expansionist turning point for the area of business of the company, that was already aimed at a national level.
In 1992 they open, indeed, a retail shop in San Vittore Olona on the important Strada Statale del Sempione. Made exclusive thanks to the nature of the products handled, day by day it specializes, in order to guarantee their always more numerous clients, a wide range of unique and high-quality products, far from the homogenisation perpetrated by the many supermarkets that are starting to appear impetuously on the market.
Pietro and Maria Battistina, also thanks to the involvement of their children Antonio and Sara in the family business, bring forth their project, but in 1994, after the premature passing of their daughter, it’s the young Antonio that inherited this great passion for his work and the unconditional love for his mother land from his family’s story, he is determined to give his moral support and all the strength his family need, reaching in only two years an old objective of theirs: to create a well-known brand which will be used to stamp their very own line of production of a few typologies of stuffed fresh pasta, produced in the laboratory in the back of the shop and lately establish a tight net of sales representatives appointed to sell in restaurants, gastronomies and specialised shops.
In 1997, thanks the visibility and notoriety the retail shop has gotten, the first requests of supplying are starting to come from a few shops and restaurants in the area, making it possible to take the first steps towards an established retail channel designated to wholesale.
With the weekly arrivals of large loads of goods, in 2000 it is essential to rent a warehouse in order to stock up on the entirety of the merchandise handled, to cope with the always increasing demand both in Italy and abroad. The amount of work needed the support of an efficient organisational structure, capable of guaranteeing a capable and capillary distribution. This will result in a winning initiative, so much that two years later an even bigger and functional warehouse will be bought.
In 2002 Gianni, the youngest of the family, waiting to get his diploma in Computer Accounting, is appointed by his brother Antonio to organise a company structure software and to handle the creation of the first and simple website. In the following years, the revenue increases at a staggering pace, also thanks to the introduction of the corporate gifts branch, that soon becomes another distribution channel of great importance for the general trend of the company.
In 2006, during a delivery at one of the most known and refined restaurants of the area, Antonio meets a beautiful Industrial Engineering student that works as a waitress. It’s love at first sight. In four years, the kind and beautiful Concetta will become not just his wife, but also an out-and-out strong point, because she learns and shares with her mother-in-law Maria Battistina the secrets and the passion for the production of unique and refined products of every sector of the gastronomic Sardinian line, an actual pride both for their retail shop and for the wholesale directed to catering professionals, gastronomies and specialised shops, always in search for niche products.
The painful and unexpected passing of Maria Battistina, happened in 2009, greatly affects the morale of the family and consequently it alters the company performance, of which she was the pillar.
Form 2007 and on, the international market faces one of the most difficult and complicated crisis in history and “La Sardegna” too has to deal with a severe plunge in sales. This fact will bring Antonio, that not only is the sales and marketing director, a role that fits him very well, but also fulfils the executive director role, to reset with indescribable attention and maniacal care of the smallest details, a fruitful and forward-looking company reorganisation.
During these difficult years, the entire Usai family, cheered up from the births of Sara and Lavinia, finds once again the moral strength to recover, finding with undisputed and unfaltering professionalism, the determination required to overcome the crisis.
It is fundamental for the path to rebirth, the contribution of the passion and the important experience gathered by the dad Pietro, that continues, in every corner of Sardinia, his unsatiable search of excellent products in order to maintain the company always renowned.
In 2015, with the always expanding social networks, Gianni suggests taking advantage of the large exposure offered by this means and thanks to this happy intuition the commercial performance strengthens again.
Later, in 2017 it is decided to go forward with the design of a brand new and well-structured website, that will make possible to open the gates of the online market.
2017 is therefore a year full of projects and satisfactions for the Usai family, more and more tight, and they are getting ready to face 2018 with an increasing enthusiasm and commitment towards their work.
It is exactly thanks to this enthusiasm, the dedication, the perseverance and the continuous elaboration of new commercial strategies, that in 2018 the wholesale sector gets to know a new and important period of increase in terms of various companies of the food industry, not only in Italy, but also in France, Germany, Poland and Spain.
In 2019, it is decided to expand the workforce of the shop, going ahead, after a thorough selection, with the employment of qualified personnel to integrate in the production and logistics departments, in order to deal with the incessant sales increase.
8th of January of 2020, “La Sardegna” finally opens its door to the international online market. The promising outcome is not long in coming: already from the first month, the sales exceed the expectation that the design studio of the e-commerce website predicted would have happened not before six months from the opening.
8th of March of 2020, the working activity in Italy stops because of the severe health emergency caused by COVID-19. Once they heard the news, the General and Commercial Management of the company, chaired by Antonio Usai, they do not find themselves unprepared for this new and complicated situation, Antonio summons the members of his family and his colleagues, and within an hour it is decided, for the sake of the clients and their families, to make the delivery of the groceries free of charge in the districts of Milan, Monza and Brianza, Como, Varese and Novara. The switchboard with four telephone lines is literally mobbed by the loyal clientele and, despite the total interruption of the delivery of the supplies to restaurants both in Italy and abroad, due to the closing decree released by the Government, the revenue of the month of March increases by 45%.
Sunday the 15th of March 2020, at 11:24 A.M., among the whirlwind of the pandemic, good news arrives: a baby girl is born in the “La Sardegna” family! The little Ginevra has born. Her sisters Sara and Lavinia, the mother and father, Concetta and Antonio and the entirety of the Usai family are on cloud nine.
Leaving 2020 behind, between good news and unpredictable obstacles, the end-of-the-year report records a new sales growth, equal to 35% more than 2019. This important result has been achieved even if the sales of the wholesale sector, mostly aimed at the catering industry, have been blocked by the restrictions issued by the government that imposed the closure for many months.
The Usai family company confirms itself always more ready to face the rapid evolution of the habits of the entire population; so much that the retail shop, even known outside of Lombardy by now, reaches a fast expansion thanks to the expertise of the entire staff and the investments aimed at improving the website and eventually, thanks to the construction of an e-commerce portal, that takes off nationally in the first days of the year, and from the month of June also in the European market.
Year 2021. The company’s management promptly insighted that the pandemic would have changed the way of life of millions of people. The inevitable economic contraption, triggered by a long period of redundancy found for millions of workers of different companies and sectors, generated concern and insecurities on a larger scale for the future of many families. This social condition made it possible to plan continuous promotional campaigns in order to facilitate the always increasing international clientele.
The 13th of August 2021, Pietro Usai, at the age of 75 years, as Chairman of the “La Sardegna” company, with the approval of the other two pillars of the business, Gianni Usai and Concetta Garzo, appoints his son Antonio as CEO, at only 48 years of age takes on highest executive role of a company, with the power of taking the main business decisions, other than being the public face of the company. Antonio Usai, therefore, has to be the one that mostly represents the corporate culture of the company among the other. Cheerful, friendly, with a great spirit of sacrifice, determinate, with a strong leading attitude and an immense courage he is the individual with the right characteristics to lead a company.
September 2021, during an interview Antonio declares: “Since I was a child, I have always been very careful with everything I did, I’ve always had a competitive spirit and only playing a role or competing in a contest was never enough for me, I had to obtain the best result anyway. Today I can say, with the greatest humility, that the different and difficult situations, both from a personal and a working point of view, I have been through during my 48 years of living have forged me in the person I am today, making it possible for me not to feel the pressure of the important role I have been appointed to, but, naturally, to feel the great responsibility of creating a professional team with people that have distinctive skills compared to our competitors and that are motivated to reach the objectives set by the company. Thus, the different people that I’ll directly choose to be included in my workforce, will have to be capable of supporting me as best as they can in the simultaneous and optimal management on several fronts. To put it more simply, I have to be able to “take and load on my shoulders” the company, bringing success to the entire company. The secret of being able to reach the goal of this long and complicated mission is having unlimited energy, that it is instilled to me daily by a fantastic and unmatchable woman: my wife Concetta. Also Sara, Lavinia and Ginevra, our daughters, contribute in dispensing joy, happiness and more energy, proving, even for fun, of wanting to fulfil a role in the company”.
The forefathers and founders of the family's company, Battistina Mura and Antonio Usai that are depicted in front of their home in Jerzu.
Their son Pietro Usai and Maria Battistina Serra, in their wedding day in Jerzu.
Sara e Antonio Usai at the age of four and five years old that are depicted in a festive day in Sardinia.
The brothers Gianni e Antonio Usai together during a celebration in Saronno.
Maria Battistina with her husband Pietro inside their retail shop in San Vittore Olona.
Concetta e Antonio in the day of their wedding in Cerro Maggiore.
Antonio Usai, the new-appointed CEO during an interview.