We make fine Italian pastries and confectionery.
The confectionery/pastry shop was opened in 1921 by the famous master of Bavarian origin Gustavo Pfaticsh, who was born in Fossano in 1887. He moved to Torino and started his activity in Via Gioberti before relocating his business to Via Sacchi under the same name. The new premises were located in a splendid liberty building built in 1903 by the famous architect Pietro Fenoglio with rich floral decorations on ceilings and staircases.
In 1926 the premises and the shop front were doubled by taking down a main wall and inserting two pillars to sustain the vault.
The shop was designed in a severe art deco style, which was all the rage at the time. The shop front is clad in national walnut with onyx inserts, the shop name, above the windows, is crafted in bronze letters on an onyx background and the lower part is skirted in green marble from the Alps. The interior of the shop, which has not changed at all since its opening day, matches the exterior with its solid walnut framework inset with mirrors and crystal shelves, its counters with briar wood inserts on the front and veined marble tops, the two Murano lampshades dating to the beginning of 1900 and the givré glass doors that give access the shop windows. Furnishings were by Dosio and the marble was provided by the Catella brothers.
At the same time the founder was setting up a factory in the basement to produce chocolate starting right from the cocoa bean which was roasted over charcoal. The machinery was state of the art LEHMANN and BUEHLER: a roaster, a wooden winnowing machine from the late 1800’s, a granite grinder/mixer, a refiner with 5 cylinders and 4 alternating bowls where the chocolate was processed for 72 hours straight and finally came out smooth and perfectly harmonised, ready for confection.
The factory, which was shut down a few years ago because it did not meet the new regulations, could now be considered a perfect chocolate museum dating from the beginning of the last century, it is just waiting to get some machinery going again, once it has been updated to conform to existing regulations. However, production continues in the confectionery laboratory with the same proven techniques, making gianduiotti (made by blending cocoa and hazelnuts), chocolate bars, chocolate spreads and pralines.
In 1934 Carlo Ferraris bought out his partner Gustavo Pfatisch’s, and the shop has belonged to his family ever since. In the meantime, however, the original founder took over the Bosello brothers’ confectionery shop in Corso Vittorio Emanuele 76. He later handed it over to the Peyrano brothers, who added Pfatisch to their name, creating much confusion in the following decades about the two shops’ respective names.
Once the damage of the II world war bombings had been repaired, activity began again in earnest.
New cakes were created such as the Festivo and the chocolate meringue cake which became the symbol of the confectionery/pastry shop; savoury pastries were introduced in the 1950’s and today the business can claim eighty different types of fresh “salatini” (small savoury pastries) and the renowned canapé cake compositions.
Marron glacé are still made according to the traditional method using chestnuts from the Susa Valley and particularly Villarfocchiardo, which are boiled for hours, then hand peeled and finally candied for eight days to obtain a totally different product to the industrial one now available everywhere.
The confectionery/pastry shop has been declared a historical place of Italy, on a par with all the other famous names Torino is teeming with, and represents an almost unique example of a place which has not changed at all since its creation and which was frequented by many important personalities such as the princes and princesses of Savoia, the Duke of Aosta, the countess Calvi of Bergolo, the countess of Mirafiori, Mario Soldati, Indro Montanelli, Norberto Bobbio and many others.
Recently, many scenes for the TV drama “Il grande Torino” with Michele Placido, Beppe Fiorello and Tosca d’Acquino directed by Claudio Bonivento, were filmed both in the shop and in the laboratory.