When it comes to food and drink, it's hard to beat what Italy has to offer: pizza, pasta, ice cream, world-class cheese and wine… the list goes on. A good cup of coffee is another hallmark of Italian gastronomy, and the Illy family has been at the heart of that particular tradition for 83 years.
Illy was founded in 1933 in the port city of Trieste, Italy, by Hungarian born Francesco Illy, who developed the Illetta espresso machine and used pressurization techniques to preserve the taste and aroma of packaged coffee.
Today, the business is a global concern, with Illy coffee now available in 140 countries and served in over 100,000 restaurants and cafes around the world. The company says it employs more than 1,080 people and reported gross revenue of 391 million euros ($436.73 million) in 2014.
"The company was born upon a dream of my grandfather, the founder, to offer the greatest coffee to the world," Andrea Illy, chairman of the company, told CNBC's Lasting Legacy. "He fell in love with coffee in Vienna and then he came to Trieste and decided to stay because he found the city, coffee and his wife. So this is why the roots are so… deeply rooted."
Andrea has been around the business since he was a child and began working in the company's factory when he was just 13 years old. Today, several members of the Illy family are key cogs in the company.
With such a close connection between the family and the business that bears its name, setting boundaries and rules down to ensure everything runs smoothly is hugely important.
"We have very strict family rules, we could not have more than one (person)… per family branch within the same company or area," Daria Illy, coffee systems director at the business, said. "So you would not find two brothers working in the same department, for sure, and for sure not under the direct responsibility of a family member," she added.