Skip Colombo takes Italy


The one and only Skip Colombo, wholesale senior account manager/lover-of-life/hometown hero was duly appointed with the mission of visiting our friends and honorable colleagues of La Marzocco at their impressive headquarters outside of Florence, Italy. La Marzocco have continued to make top of the top espresso machines since coming onto the scene in 1927. Skilled craftsmen and visionaries, LM were pioneers in the industry with the first horizontal espresso machine (early 20th century machines were equipped with tall vertical boilers), the first double boilers and the first ever PID temperature controlled machines — all trademarks of temperature control, efficiency, stability and consistency. And, of course, the company’s designs have always looked terribly cool to boot. We proudly work on La Marzocco machines in all of our Stumptown retail cafes.

Skip brought his darling daughter Ida Bleu with him, hung out with Piero Bambi (son and nephew of the founders of La Marzocco) toured the factory and generally had, he says, “the best 10 days I’ve probably ever had in my life.” Skip shared with us some photos from his Italian holiday.

But first! A cool time lapse video of the making of a La Marzocco Strada in the factory in Tuscany.

IMG_3815Piero with a drawing of his father Guiseppe’s first espresso machine design from when he was 18 – Guiseppe intended it as a gift for his professor.

IMG_3829A special edition 80th anniversary GS3 IMG_3858The La Marzocco factory floor in the second stage of production. To this day, all La Marzocco machines are still built by hand. IMG_3833Ida Bleu behind the wheel of a limited edition Harley Davidson GS3 espresso machine.  IMG_3882Piero Bambi is 87 years old, and still goes to his office at the factory every single day.  IMG_3874Skip with Simone, who hand-built all of Stumptown’s La Marzocco mistrals. He was originally going to fly to Portland for our LM Meet the Maker event, but is afraid of flying. Very few people can build these machines — and you can tell Simone’s work by his wiring — he has a signature technique. IMG_3885La Marzocco employee “lounge ” with its custom Strada foosball table. IMG_3884Ida and Ettore Scaglaiola, one of the head sales specialists of LM.               IMG_4010

The Marzocco is the heralded lion, best known in its original rendition sculpted by Donatello in the 15th c. The statue and symbol represent the spirit and protection of Florence and are inspiration for the namesake and emblem of La Marzocco.