OFFER: Saffron Walden Italian food company up for Essex award

Luca and Nicola Pagliaro of Vorrei

Luca and Nicola Pagliaro of Vorrei - Credit: Archant

A family-run Saffron Walden company has reached the final of an Essex competition aimed at exciting new businesses in the county.

Vorrei, an online Italian food retailer, owned by husband and wife team Luca and Nicola Pagliaro, are in the final 18 of the Essex Big Business Boost competition, which had more than 200 entrants.

As finalists, the Shire Hill based firm, who specialise in supplying authentic Italian food all over the UK, have already won a package of prizes, including tailored business coaching and a year of public relations support.

English co-owner Nicola met her Italian lawyer husband Luca in Calabria, southern Italy, in 1996 and the pair lived in Rome for 15 years before returning to the UK three years ago as they wanted their two daughters Chloe and Emily to attend English schools.

Nicola said: “After returning to the UK, we just couldn’t find the types of food that we loved eating, and so we wanted to bring in the best, organic food directly from farms and small-scale producers across Italy.

We currently stock around 250 items but are looking to expand to 400 and the next step is to get our own premises, although that may not happen straight away.”

Nicola, who has a background in marketing, said she learned of the competition after attending a course with Essex business support specialists Ignite.

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She said: “I really wish I would have known about the great support that the county provides new businesses from the start. There is help out there. We began in December 2013 and it’s been quite a slow process. We’ve realised it takes a long time to really establish a business, but we’re learning all the time and are very happy to be in the final of the competition.”

Luca said: “Currently about 70 per cent of our business goes to London, and we’re really keen to develop relationships with people in the local community and give Saffron Walden a taste of Italy.”

The Essex Big Business Boost final will take place on September 24 in Chelmsford, with the overall winner receiving £4,300 to invest in their company.

Luca and Nicola will have to decide who attends the evening however, as it clashes with a One Direction concert that their daughters have tickets for.

“I hope to go,” said Luca, “As I don’t like One Direction.”

The Reporter has teamed up with Vorrei to offer free delivery to CB10 and CB11 postcodes, plus 10% off your order when you spend £15 with Vorrei before 30 September. Just use the code SAFFRON1 when you checkout. Visit to place your order.