28 Feb Marello family mill
They say that daydreaming is a characteristic of children; on a cold and foggy autumnal Sunday, we met a young man and a young woman who are turning a child’s dream into reality. We are in Camino, a village that stretches over many hilly ridges, dominated by the medieval castle of Marquis Scarampi. Built on the border between Vercelli rice-fields and Monferrato hills, Camino’s area, consisting of several rural centres, offers spectacular views and a varied landscape.
Until the ’80s and before the building of a smoother state road, Camino represented the door to Monferrato. And it is Guido Marello to tell us that, during his childhood, he had to go along the hill road to take his grandmother home from Trino to Pontestura. This short trip became the pretext for the family to stop at the village store and gave Guido, usually waiting in the car, the opportunity to make a pause and think up. Observing the rural houses in Pietra da Cantoni stone, with large barns and scanning the valley that opens as a natural amphitheatre, he says that he felt ravished by a dream. In the light of this, we can reasonably say that Guido has been inspired by his own childhood in this existential and business adventure, although today his success comes from the union of imagination and experience gained in years of work in the family companies.
In 2009, Guido takes over the family farm and, helped by his father Stefano, he starts working the land by traditional and biological cultivation techniques. The production of the Mulino Marello is focused on autochthonous cereals, such as Mais Pignoletto Rosso, Mais Ottofile Giallo and Mais Nostrano dell’Isola, which are gluten free and therefore can be eaten and appreciated by those who suffer from celiac disease.
The desire for innovation and experimentation and the respect of nature brought Guido and Rosa to produce very fragrant mixtures of flour with high organoleptic/nutritional properties fit to different tastes and needs. These mixtures of flour, exposed in small containers available to customers in the shop of the mill, can be smelled, looked and touched: it is a high-quality sensorial experience, aimed to rediscover fragrances and sensations mostly lost with the industrial processing. White Sorgo flour is also special: it is fragrant and very soft to the touch; there are no tannins and the high content of starch is appreciated as a thickener in the gluten-free flour mixture for cakes and baked goods.
The two blocks of the complex show all their rural architectural beauty made of a harmonious mix of bricks, stones of the river Po and Pietra da Cantoni, which is typical of the hill farmhouses in Monferrato. The plant of the mill looks characteristic and, at the same time, innovative: when it works, it seems to utter a primordial sound. The atmosphere you breathe inside is magic: the sound of millstones (different sound according to the processed flours) and the fragrance of mixtures throw you into a timeless place. However, if you just leave the millstones room you can not hear any noise because the plant has no environmental impact.
While the works in the mill block are completed, the renovation is going on in the building that will become a farm holiday with small apartments or rooms and a bar with outdoor seating over the valley. Among other business activities, today the company has an important collaboration with Grom, the world famous ice-cream producers and the future promises to be full of expectations and major projects.
The philosophy of Mulino Marello is and will be a high-quality artisanal production. Guido ensures that high quality will be not sacrificed for profit. Rather Mulino Marello will become soon a didactic location to recover rural culture and educate children and adults about responsible food choices. Rosa and Guido firmly believe in what they do and we can only wish them that their dream could become real for the whole community welfare.
Every Saturday Marello Mill is open to host visitors: contact them for book a free tour.
Azienda Agricola Marello
Address: Via Pontestura 80, 15020 Camino AL
Phone: +39 0142 697040
Mobile: +39 380 7095519
Written by Manu Arjuna | Edited by Maurizia Ciccia | Photography by Elio Lussu and Manu Arjuna