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A Visit to Fantin
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A Visit to Fantin

At the end of last year we introduced an exciting new brand to our portfolio. Fantin is an Italian furniture brand that specialise in metal kitchens and other lounge and storage furniture.

It was decided that we would head over to the Venice region of Italy, on a trip to find out all about Fantin and its range of products. Whilst there we also visited Barazza and Fulgor, who manufacture worktops and kitchen appliances of an amazing quality, as we want to supply a complete kitchen system.

We really wanted to get as much knowledge about the manufacturing processes, as well as the product ranges themselves. We obviously cannot stock and display every option possible so its great to go to the manufacturer and see as many products and finishes as we could.

We spent two days in the heart of the Italian industrial district of Bannia which, as it turns out, is not quite as an industrial area as we would expect in the UK. It’s a beautiful area with lush greens fields, backed by stunning a snow topped mountain range. Industrial units dotted around the countryside.  All of Fantin’s suppliers are within a 25KM radius, which reduces their environmental impact along with recycled metals and environmentally friendly paints, it really makes them a brand for the future.

Fantin is a family run company and our welcome was extremely warm. We had a quick chat and then scooted off to see the factory as we couldn’t wait to see machines and welders in action. There is a real love for the process of manufacture here and a passion for not only design, but for the precision in which these pieces are made. Everything must fit and be exact, people are buzzing around us measuring to the millimetre; bending metals, welding, polishing, painting.

Huge machines help bend the thin metal door edges perfectly over and over again. Each one checked, measured and passed.  Each machine operated by a skilled worker. We watch the lady at a huge bending machine as she sets up the machine for a new batch of doors. She sets bending dies in place and measures. She skilfully moves a big piece of metal over to the machine and bends it really close to the edge, perfect… she tells us (via a very good English speaking colleague) that this part has to be exact or the cabinet will not fit together.

All over the factory, people stop work for a few minutes for morning break. All except one older man, who is using a grinder to smooth excess weld from some Frame units. We ask why he doesn’t stop. He’s the boss was the reply!   Well he’s the father of the current commercial director and one of the two brothers who founded the company over 60 years ago. Once a worker always a worker.  That just told us what kind of company this is.  Just like us….  a family run business and hands on.

We enter a screened of area of the factory and items of metal furniture are whirling around the factory hanging from wires. It’s like something from Wonka’s chocolate factory. They go in a booth at one end and come out of the other end another colour. It’s the powder coating room.  It’s a constant mesmerising flow. New pieces in to be sprayed and then through ovens and done, off to the assembly section. This is a much quieter area, people assessing, building and packing.

Finally, we move into the showroom area to see the many different types of furniture Fantin make from racking units and storage, to lockers and office furniture and beds. We currently are concentrating on kitchen pieces, but we will certainly be making some of these other ranges available in the future.

We really found the visit to Fantin a really valuable experience. To speak to people here and have a point of contact whom you have met really helps the whole process. We asked some searching questions about installations and deliveries, as well as seeing some new products which have yet to be released. All this helps to answer our customers questions without reverting back to Italy constantly.   

After an early start and a busy day it’s time for some well deserved R & R; maybe a pizza or some pasta - well we are in Italy after all. We stayed in the town of Paderno, which is a really pretty place with medieval looking main streets and an amazing church. Pizza was the call of the day, but a stroll around the streets about was in order and maybe a little drink on the way to the restaurant.

Day two consisted of visits to Barazza, who produce the amazing kitchen worktops and taps that work seamlessly with the Fantin kitchens and also produce ovens and cooking appliances and also Fulgor, another appliance brand.

We started with Fulgor who are a huge name in Italy and not so well known in the UK yet. They build all the ovens from the factory here in Italy. They have a long history of producing ovens and their lavish showrooms also have on some display some really cool little stoves from a long time ago.. We go through a huge amount of ovens and hobs in order to find the right ones for our customers. Fulgor’s range of products is vast and we needed to be sure that we can supply a product that our customers can reply on and look the part. We found the perfect solution for our customers and found an oven that we can supply with confidence. Fulgor also produce a fantastic line of range cookers. These look amazing and the build quality is stunning While these are not what we were looking for on this trip, we also found a product we can supply if required.

We then take a short drive over to see Barazza in their lavish showroom. It is state of  the art and there are so many options to choose form here; steel counter tops, taps, sinks, cooker hoods, appliances and accessories. It really is an eye opener for us and although lots of the display items here are bespoke worktops and units, its great to see the possibilities if a customer does ask. With the Fantin units we have chosen a 4mm solid steel top with a variety of finishes and optionally integrated sinks and either gas or induction hobs. However it’s good again to see other finishes, taps and some accessories.

It was a fantastic trip. To meet people and put a face to names is always a worthwhile venture as it helps to build confidence from both sides. We got to see products we wouldn’t have otherwise seen and asked questions that are easier face to face and with the product and technicians in front of you. Having a great knowledge of a brand, it products and manufacturing processes really is essential for us to be able to deliver great customer service and client confidence.



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