In 2021, Franchi Umberto Marmi celebrates 50 years of business. Over this half a century, the company has established itself as a leader in the sector. Relying on a solid tradition, at the same time, it looks to the future with optimism thanks to the continuous process of development and innovation that marks its path.
The story of Franchi Umberto Marmi begins in the deafening silence of the quarries, exactly fifty years ago. A man, Umberto Franchi, has a dream and decides to invest all his resources in realising his vision. Thus, he founded a company bearing his name, which over time became one of the most important international companies in the Carrara marble district. His vision and his passion allowed him to build the company as if it were a big family that is held together based on shared values and projects. This was the spirit of the company for the next 30 years following its foundation. Years made of successes, business growth and consolidation and the ever-greater sharing of new business challenges and projects. In 2003, the company was formally taken over by Umberto’s children, Bernarda and Alberto, who are at the helm today.
The 2000s was a decade of changes with the global market experiencing great difficulty. However, thanks to successful commercial strategies, Franchi Umberto Marmi was instead mature and ready to deal with exponential growth and respond to the needs of increasingly demanding and selective customers. First and foremost, the United States, but also China and Asia in general and finally the Middle East.
Franchi Umberto Marmi’s headquarters currently occupies an area of over 47,000 square metres. This is where all the work related to the processing, display and marketing of the blocks arriving from the quarries and the slabs is concentrated. This vast area includes five industrial buildings used as showrooms in addition to the main building that houses the offices. Franchi Umberto Marmi established itself in Avenza in 2007 following the restoration of an old abandoned pasta factory redesigned by architects Paolo Armenise and Silvia Nerbi. In the following years, the headquarters was extended with the construction of the Tower, a multifunctional building designed by Archizero – Michele Cazzani. The Galleria Umberto, designed by Giuseppe Venuta, was later added to the original showrooms. This is a large, elegant space, used both to display the finished products and meet professionals and develop certain processes. Recently, the last space, called Big One, which was also designed by Giuseppe Venuta, hosts a large exhibition of slabs in different types of marble. Today, Franchi’s is a modern, welcoming and functional company headquarters. It is linked to the territory but also to its customers from all over the world thanks to the digitisation process. Ready to face the future and take the message of excellence of Carrara marble to the world.
The Franchi Group counts on the largest and most productive quarries in the entire Apuan stone district: Equi, Lorano, Bettogli, Marmi Pregiati Carrara, Canalgrande and Gioia. Some of the most sought after, precious marbles in the world are extracted from these quarries. They include Carrara White, Calacatta, Bardiglio and Statuario in its precious varieties, Cipollino, Zebrino, Portoro and Collemandina in the Red and Grey varieties. All the marbles extracted from the quarries belonging to the Franchi Group are subjected to rigorous controls and selected on the basis of their quality, which is always very high.
Each quarry is managed scientifically and responsibly so as to supply materials of homogeneous quality and in fair quantities.
Events represent an important part of Franchi Umberto Marmi’s DNA. The ability to work alongside architects and designers in skilfully creating installations and staged exhibition concepts with its marbles in a versatile way has favoured the company’s participation in some of the most prestigious events in the world of design and architecture. Indeed, the company has participated in numerous projects for the Fuorisalone in Milan, Marble Weeks and events related to Marmomac. More recently, it took part as an exhibitor at the Salone del Mobile 2019 and at Leonardo’s 500, an event organized by Montenapoleone District to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci. Finally, who can forget the suggestive atmosphere and beauty of the Welcome Angels event in the quarry in 2009. An extraordinary experience that marked the beginning of Franchi Umberto’s journey towards a design approach and the expression of excellence of its marbles.
Over time, in addition to the marketing of blocks and slabs in precious marble varieties from its own quarries, Franchi Umberto Marmi has put together product collections to establish a productive dialogue with the world of design. From the first line of large street furniture vases, among which the iconic Big Mac by Luisa Bocchietto stands out, to the Home Design collection that brings together furnishings and accessories designed, among others, by Eugenio Biselli and presented to the international public at the Salone del Mobile 2019 to the most recent Spheric and Cubic collections, designed by architect Luca Dini for the outdoors and exclusive, refined superyachts. The transversal nature of Carrara marble is surprising. In every object, its expressive potential is enhanced and renewed. Hence, we discover new beauty beyond the very limit of the material.
In these 50 years, Franchi Umberto Marmi has achieved many goals. Today, the company is an undisputed ambassador of the Made in Italy brand in the world thanks to its exponential growth and consequent visibility over the years.
Franchi Umberto Marmi’s success is based on an ethical business model that promotes not only its own marbles but also the territory in which it is deep-rooted and the entire supply chain. The listing on the Stock Exchange on 5 October 2020 is the culmination of this path. The whole Franchi team had long worked towards this important goal with great commitment and resources. Currently, the company is focused on a further objective, that is sustainability.
A goal that Franchi is fast approaching thanks to constant improvements in both process and product performance and industry 4.0 innovation. All implemented with total transparency which in itself creates added value to the brand.
Franchi Umberto Marmi has always invested in people and their professional development. Creativity, growth and a spirit of collaboration have been the Company’s shared objectives right from the start.
The teachings of the founder, Umberto Franchi, are welcomed and put into practice by all those who work in this very dynamic company. The love for their city, for the quarries, the importance of providing excellent customer service are all aspects of a growth project conceived in a modern way and are the basis for an ethical business model. More than 40 employees work every day with commitment and passion to spread the culture of Carrara marble throughout the world. One of the most recognised examples of excellence and the authentic ‘Made in Italy’ brand.