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The Smoking Tiger

Ancona, central Italy, is home to about 100,000 people. The Smoking Tiger was founded here in November 2020, along the coast of the Adriatic Sea. The company roasts specialty coffee and sells it online. Antonio Tombolini started the business at 60 years old, driven by a desire to introduce people all over the world to the true value of products. He used to run an e-commerce business in the early days of the internet, selling gourmet foods and luxury wines. Today, he says there is an ideal market in the specialty coffee industry. During our interviews, we delved deeper into his philosophy. Food experiences, delivered to your doorstep The arrival of the internet came as a great shock to Antonio, whose life, up until 1996, had hardly crossed the digital world. Being able to play chess during a lunch break with people around the world was a pleasant surprise, above all. The internet, and the paradigm shift it brought with it, ushered in the second chapter of his life. After gaining a doctor’s degree in law in 1986, Antonio joined Poltrona Flau, a long-established international brand that manufactures high-end furniture with traditional, artisanal skills. He was in charge of export. However, as Antonio traveled across Europe – his main target market – his passion gravitated toward food. And that passion grew only stronger as he got a taste of various local cultures and their characters through culinary experience. When Antonio didn’t have meetings or exhibitions to attend during these business trips, he spent most of his spare time looking for local farmers and wine producers. Even if you produce good food or good wine, if...

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