Cecilia Tessieri and the art of chocolate

The interview with Cecilia Tessieri, founder of Amedei chocolate, ends up being a lesson in life, where the difficulties and painful moments of the last five years are recounted with absolute serenity whilst emerging strong, having an awareness of one’s personal growth, of evolution that has been brought about by unexpected external events.

“Going from being a foundress and above all from having a research and product development job to the entrepreneurial role, without specific training or knowledge, without the support of a team, is a very hard test,” she tells me.

This challenge taken on without hesitation, like when in the 1990s when she decided to “change” and follow a completely different path from the one that already appeared to be clearly laid out, opting to open a small chocolate workshop instead.

However, chocolate is the food of the gods and should be treated, handled and understood as such. It is not enough to work cocoa; it is necessary to start from the bean, from the plantation. Thus began her very personal journey that led her to becoming a maître chocolatier—the first woman in a typically male kingdom.

“Women have a different sensibility, they have the intuition, being fundamental in experimenting. However, I appreciate the masculine approach, which is different but not less important.”

Five years ago came a new change. Cecilia was catapulted into the world of entrepreneurship. There were tough times, with an awareness that a company cannot remain still but must progress.

“It was a very painful time, full of sacrifices, of people who abandoned me and others who, rather, gave me confidence; of just compromises reached without ever giving up my dignity but evaluating limits and merits, measuring them in a balance of emotions. I realised that I couldn’t do everything myself. It is true that each of us has an “I” that wants to emerge but the company is a team and the entrepreneur needs partners who support the project, managers with whom to create a balance and to delegate.”

Thus came the decision to cede the majority, allowing a foreign partner to enter.

“I chose to see the company grow and develop rather than implode, even if it meant giving up something.”

“On the other hand,” she continues, “Cecilia Tessieri and Amedei are two different things. Cecilia is a Maître Chocolatier and this is mine alone, whilst Amedei is something else—it is the company I serve. Surrendering it means helping it to grow and become stronger. It means allowing the story to go on, to continue to bring a smile to those who choose Amedei chocolate. It is the concept of challenge, of giving value to a craft enterprise and making it become great.”

Cecilia and her lucid vision. Cecilia and true love for the company, which is shown not in its possession but in the ability to let it go to allow it to grow.

“All this led me to a great undertaking working on myself, on the awareness that in our earthly passage we must always leave a positive mark, putting in our heart, passion, impetus. If too much is planned, what is lost is life itself, which must rather flow smoothly, a river to go along without being overwhelmed. Living life because it is very short. We don’t know when it will end and this is the most beautiful thing: life cannot be controlled. For this reason, it is important to live life with confidence, remembering to always give back, on the basis of that received and welcoming that which comes along even if different because change is part of our renewal.”

As I said, a wonderful life lesson.

Da Centro Avalon