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The Silvio Meletti Company was born in 1870 thanks to the laboriousness and invention of its founder; Silvio Meletti. The roots of this company and its successful products have to be found even further back. Silvio Meletti was raised in a poor family and soon quit his study to help his mother at work; his mother run a small store and sold a home-made anise liquor very popular among her customers, among many other items.
The anise distillation is an old tradition in Ascoli and it is still possible today to find exquisite quality home-made anise distillates especially in farmers’ homes.
Silvio Meletti learned her mother’s technique and recipes and started studying French essays on distillation (His family still owns his book dated 1700) and after several experiments, he enhanced the recipe and distillation technique that is still used today to obtain the Anisetta Meletti.
This recipe main ingredient is the green anise (Pimpinella anisum), a type of anise typical of the Mediterranean area; green anise is strongly aromatic because of the clay nature of the soil in the Marche region and particularly in the Ascoli area. The anise of these lands is, in fact, two or three times more fragrant than the anise in other Mediterranean areas.
This particularly fragrant anise was and still is going through a process of a discontinuous steamed distillation. The “flavouring” part of the liquor is taken from other distillations of carefully chosen flowers, seeds, and fruits and then is added to the liquor. The recipe and the procedure elaborated back in 1870 are the same used today by the Meletti heirs and the Meletti family, now at his fifth generation, is still the only company owner.
Silvio Meletti also used his talent for commercializing his products; he used to give as presents liquor bottles to people he trusted in neighbouring towns so the liquor would be known outside his town. Therefore, the company product markets, productivity and personnel quickly increased.
He decided to bring his Anisette to well-known international fairs of that time and he was awarded Honourable Mention at the Paris international expo in 1878.
In 1896, the company rapid commercial growth came to a stop because of a serious life-threatening illness that affected Silvio Meletti. After two years, he fortunately fully recovered and could go back administrating his company. Liquors production and sales became florid and Anisette achieved success all over Italy.
Advertising for his product was very expensive, so Silvio Meletti became a sale representative for Turin Venchi Company and while going around selling Venchi chocolates, he also promoted his Anisette. Anisette sales went really well to the point he was able to establish a real commercial net with his own sales agents in main Italian cities and to open a factory outside his town.