Promoting gelato in the world? With an eye on Singapore – This is what Valentina Righi has in mind. An interview with the Public Relations Officer of the Fondazione Carpigiani.

We connect with the concept of food every day: we think about recipes, food enthusiasts – foodies – bloggers and dedicated journalists, chefs that are now television personalities, photographers of dishes and menus to savour, while the term foodservice is slightly less familiar to the non professional.

This is all the economic-production chain concerning restoration not only in the food sense, but also with a broader context: from HACCP to equipment, from machinery to marketing, from the identity of the point of sale to communication, through the dreaded “food cost”.

The “women in foodservice” project investigates the concept of the women’s role within specific businesses and narrates the profession and the stories of women entrepreneurs, the managers, the PRs and experts in communication that contribute significantly to the success of this always evolving market.

Who is Valentina and what does she do precisely at present?

A woman with a passion for life from all points of view! Today I am a Public Relations Officer of the Fondazione Bruto e Poerio Carpigiani, my mission is to promote the culture and business of ice cream worldwide, food that represents the excellence and Italian creativity so wellI deal with the planning and realization of cultural and educational projects, with the organization of events, online and offline communications, lobbying and networking activities, digital strategies and fundraising.


How did your love affair with Carpigiani begin?

It was 2006, I was interviewing Gino Cocchi, who was the General Director of the Carpigiani Group at the time for the financial newspaper Sole24Ore. He spoke about Carpigiani I was impressed by this reality and proposed a communication plan to valorize the brand and give new impetus to the international business. Then the new Director, Andrea Cocchi, arrived and he accepted the proposal of setting up the first non-profit Foundation dedicated to spreading the culture of artisan gelato (Fondazione Bruto e Poerio Carpigiani was established in 2012) and undertook the challenge of creating the Gelato Museum the first reality in the world dedicated to the study and delving into the history, culture and technology of gelato.

What is the most interesting aspect of your work?

I love creating connections and value. The latest born (2013) is the Gelato World Tour, the “Formula One” of gelato organized with Sigep – Rimini Fiera with the collaboration of IFI, Pregel and Prodea Group (we have the support of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, of the Ministry of Economic Development and of the Emilia Romagna Region, and we are honored to have had also DESITA for the Dubai stage). The goal is that of bringing, once again, the culture and passion of artisan gelato in the world supporting the gelato makers who work in all four corners of the globe through a competition with the scope of electing the “World’s Best Gelato”. We organize free courses, for young and adults, fun contests, tastings during the Gelato World Tour legs. By communicating the quality of gelato to the public, we do whatever is possible to help those who choose to change their lives, embark on this ancient job, and be successful. I have the chance to travel frequently and always confront new cultures and situations. My job is never the same, even if I have been here for almost 10 years I mainly deal with gelato.

If you had a magic wand, what would you change in this ambience?

I would make bureaucracy easier, clarify the regulations, increase the possibilities of exchange between nations and invest even more in internationalisation.

You are about to leave Italy for good, may we ask you the reason of this choice?

Actually, I moved to Singapore in 2014. I got married there in December 2012 and my husband (from Bologna like me) and I decided to have our baby in the country we love deeply. We are struggling so that our son can study in such a cosmopolitan and dynamic environment that blends East and West with great respect. I thank Carpigiani for allowing me to work from there for a long time.

Is it very different to work in this sector abroad? Can you give us some examples?

Singapore exudes optimism and enthusiasm, practically there is no crime. Everything is simple, fast and safe. If you respect the rules, have a winning project and roll your sleeves up, you can achieve your dreams. The downside is that everything here is very expensive, restrictions on work permits for foreigners have increased a lot in recent years and if you do not offer something that brings real wellbeing and improves the quality of life of the community, you have little hope of success. I give an example: the Asia-Pacific leg of the Gelato World Tour, organized at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore in March 2015, was sponsored by the Singapore Tourism Board. Our project won the selections of the Kick-Start Fund because Singapore wanted to be the first Asian city to become the Capital of Gelato and host the competition!

Which is the greatest professional satisfaction you remember?

The inauguration of the Gelato Museum in September 2012. There were political authorities, international news journalists (from Al Jazeera to Reuters, from Repubblica to the Daily Telegraph, from Rai to the Iranian and Mexican TV), the most important representatives of the world of gelato. It was a dream come true. I would like to thank with all my heart the historic curator of the Gelato Museum, Luciana Polliotti, the curator Andrea Barbieri and Caterina Ghelfi, who now deals with extreme care and expertise with the museum’s development. If you grant me a tie, I would include the satisfaction I feel every time a new leg of the Gelato World Tour begins. The feeling of still being an Ambassador of Gelato always excites me.

Do you agree that there is a high rate of lack of preparation among entrepreneurs and professionals of the environment?

No. The entrepreneurs I have worked with in recent years have all my respect. The professionals I know work with passion and dedication, those who did not work this way disappeared quickly or anyhow have not become famous. Of course, we can all improve. I apply the law of attraction: or maybe I have never met people so unprepared, or maybe I forget quickly.

What do you wish to recommend to a professional who wants to start an experience similar to yours?

First, understand his or her talent and what they want from life: we are all different and not everyone wants to live abroad. Set a target, create an innovative strategy and present it to the specific authorities with passion and determination. Will is power.


See also:

DESITA Creates New Gelato Concept for Saudi Arabian Patisserie Giant Saadeddin

Famous Chef Designer chose Desita to bring his concept to the Middle East



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