Our Origins

frantoio oliveFollowing the anciant Flaminia Route from Fano you will see on the right hand side beautiful hills covered with vineyards and olive groves, after aprox. 6 km from the city you will get to Cuccurano, past the plateau on the right is the Olive mill of the Busca's family, set in an impressive eighteenth century building overlooking the Valle del Metauro.

The origin of the oil mill dates back to 1933, when the family's progenitor Carlo Busca with his two sons Enrico and Duilio moved to Cuccurano purchasing the old building, which already hosted an “oil mill” and the large surrounding agricultural area.

At the time in Cuccurano and neighboring villages, the majority of the population was engaged in agriculture: many families were given pieces of land for sharecropping. The horses coach was the only means of public transportation in Cuccurano. Each family cooked and packaged their own bread at home, however for the people that did non posses an oven they could use the pubblic village's oven by bringing their own wood to heat it up. At home wool, hemp, cotton and linen were being treated. The silkworms were being bred and the cocoons were worked in the factories of Fano and Fossombrone. For night lighting they used oil and petroleum lamps (Canfin) and candles. Electricity came after the first World War. The railway linking Cuccurano to Fano and Urbino was built in 1913 and the Flaminia route was paved in 1929.

At the time they worked from dawn til dusk with the help of farming animals, however the most strenuous efforts were done by men. There was no retirement age, by the age of 15 children would start to work. The sun and seasons were the main regulators of the working schedule.

Bread was the staple grain, but more generally made out of corn, in addition to potatoes, legumes and various vegetables. Extravergin olive oil was for the nobles and was used sparingly.

In this context, the Busca family in the '30s begun its work in the olive mill providing a service to the local farmers.

Farmers went to the mill with their cart or other farm carts pulled by oxen, while the more affluent employers came with carts pushed by horses, full of olives to press at the mill.

The mill was equipped with two stables one for horses and the other for the oxen. The animals were welcomed and cared for by children of the family throughout the intire stay of the owners, which could sometimes last a few days.

The olives were stored in the three upper floors of the laboratory, then used for storage. Each farmer waited their turn for the milling and sometimes this could mean spend a night or two in the warehouse next to their olives.

Food was always available in the mill. There was a big fireplace continuosly on, and the women of the family would cook for customers.

Olives were harvest in November and December, with a considerate delay compared to today.

At that time there was no mechanical defoliation, the olives were defoliated and meticulously cleaned by hand.antiche molazze olio

The traditional method of the ancient stone wheels (called muller) to press the olives was used to extract the oil at the mill , which would crush the olives through mechanical pressure. During the pre-war period the wheels were horse-drawn two horses by two, this way the heavy work was alternated amongst the animals. Just after the war the horses were replaced by diesel engines and subsequently by electricity. The olive oil extraction was entrusted to the mechanical pressing (hydraulic presses).

The paste was distributed on fiber plates called matts, which were placed one on top of  the other stacked on a trolley, which was then led to the press to obtain oil through mechanical pressing.