Ernesto Cima and his brothers established the Fabrique de Chocolat Cima in Dangio/Torre after returning from Nice where they learned the art of chocolate making.
Richer than Lugano
CimaNorma created great wealth and prosperity for the region in the 1950s by offering at its peak work to 340 people with a production volume of 1'500 tons of chocolate annually.
A well-preserved legacy
Many unique recipes and chocolate making tools of CimaNorma have been well preserved over the years and serve as a special inspiration for creating today's products.
Until today, the Fabbrica stands tall in Valle di Blenio. It is a vivid reminder of the glorious old days, symbolising the former wealth of the impoverished region. The building is an industrial monument of the Jugendstil era.
It all started in the early 20th century, in a Beer brewery between Torre and Dangio in Valle di Blenio up in the Swiss Alps, next to a waterfall. Rushing down the steep mountain, the water produces electricity, turning the machines in the factory.
The valley has often been abandoned by its inhabitants, because it is barren and does not provide enough to live. The inhabitants sought their luck, and above all money, across Europe. Among them the Cima brothers. In Nice, they made chocolate. Back then, the whole world started to become crazy about this delicacy.
In 1903 the Cima’s returned to their valley with their bags full of money, bought the brewery and founded the chocolate factory Cima. But the brothers had no luck. A torrent destroyed their factory just five years later.
Another returnee helped them out: Giuseppe Pagani had become wealthy in London as a restaurant owner and had good relations with the Swiss Consumer Association, now known as Coop. Pagani won them as a customer and bought Norma, a second factory in Zurich, to meet the delivery obligations.
By 1920, Cima Norma had employed 340 people in the Blenio Valley. During World War II, the Fabbrica was honoured with the visit of General Guisan, which was a great pride for the region. CimaNorma helped the village of Dangio-Torre in the 1950s to great wealth. It was even richer than the city of Lugano. Then came the fall. Over night. Because the Swiss Consumer Association ended the collaboration. Everything went quickly: In 1968, the chocolate company Cima Norma closed its doors and everyone was dismissed. The Blenio Valley did not recover for a long time.
However, as the factory’s crest says: Adversa Coronant; despite the adversities CimaNorma has faced, it persists until today.
Continuing the Legacy
Today, the chocolate is no longer made in the old ‘Fabbrica’, but production has moved down to the plains of Ticino. In Rancate, Domani Food SA produces the chocolate in its modern production facility, made bean to bar in Switzerland, with the finest organic ingredients sourced from sustainable origins.
Domani Food is a young Swiss chocolate and snack food producer founded by Persian serial entrepreneur Abouzar Rahmani, his wife Julia and niece Funda Dilmaghanian, whose family business heritage reaches back over 140 years. In line with his philosophy of respecting tradition, whilst remaining relevant through catering to modern consumer demands, Domani Food has made it its mission to promote a balanced approach towards nutrition and lifestyle to further society’s happiness and wellbeing.
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