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Author Sarah Kirton
Sarah Kirton
Updated on Jun 5th, 2023
Fact checked by Deborah Leigh

Mr Truffle 2023: The Crème de la Crème

Francesco Di Maddaloni is the Managing Director of Mr Truffle, a company based in London that specializes in importing high-quality truffles from Abruzzo, Italy. With a passion for truffles and a deep understanding of the truffle market, Francesco has established himself as a trusted source for top-notch truffle products. Since its founding in 2014, Mr Truffle has gained a reputation for providing premium truffles to a wide range of customers, from Michelin-starred restaurants to individual truffle enthusiasts. DeliveryRank finds out more. 

Can you tell us about the history and background of Mr. Truffle, and how the company came to be?

In 2014, we started our company in the UK with the aim of contributing to the local economy of the Italian Abruzzo region where we have many years of experience. The region is known for its outstanding products, including the truffle. We wanted to help the local economy by selling this exceptional product. We discussed the idea with a friend who was also excited about it, and we decided to introduce Mr. Truffle to the UK. The region's economy had not been performing well since the 90s, and we felt that we could make a contribution while also running a profitable business.

We began in 2014 and have been growing ever since. Our idea was to provide a unique product that wasn't widely available in the UK market. While many suppliers offered items like wines or olive oil, truffles were not commonly available at the time. We decided to focus on supplying truffles exclusively from the Abruzzo region of Italy, where the local economy was suffering, and where I grew up. This is how Mr Truffle started.

What sets Mr. Truffle apart from other truffle suppliers and distributors in the UK and beyond? What unique advantages or features does your company offer to customers and partners?

It's important to note that the truffle market is growing rapidly, with projections for continued growth in the next few years. While there are many competitors in the market, it's important for consumers to understand  the type, quality, and percentage of real truffle in their products. Many truffle products on the market contain only a small percentage of actual truffle (2-4%), with the rest being made up of chemicals to create the aroma and flavor. At Mr Truffle, we stand out by using only natural ingredients and avoiding the use of chemicals. We encourage consumers to check where their truffles are sourced from and to be mindful of the percentage of truffle in their products when making purchases.

It's important for truffle products to have a high percentage of actual truffle content to ensure quality. At Mr Truffle, we stand out by sourcing our truffles exclusively from the Abruzzo in the Apennines mountains. This wonderful region is the greenest region in Italy, with a dominant rural economy, and typical Italian craftsmanship and tradition. The quality of truffles is heavily influenced by the properties of the soil, temperature, and geographic location, with France, Italy, and some parts of Croatia being known for their high-quality truffles. By focusing exclusively on the Abruzzo region, we ensure that our organic products set us apart from competitors.

Can you walk us through the process of sourcing, selecting, and delivering high-quality truffles to your customers? 

Our supply chain is straightforward. We have a business partner in Italy who manages a network of truffle hunters. We source our truffles directly from them, and our partner selects the best truffles to be shipped to the UK the next day. We receive fresh truffles every week, depending on the season. We only source from small local businesses that use traditional methods to manufacture our products. Our focus is on quality over quantity, and we aim to support the local economy by including small producers in our supply chain.

Truffles are often associated with luxury and high-end cuisine - how do you work to make truffles accessible and approachable for a wider range of customers, including home cooks and food enthusiasts?

To make our truffles accessible, we try to offer a range of products at different price points, including our more affordable black summer truffles. We also offer different sizes and quantities to cater to different needs and budgets. Additionally, we have a direct-to-consumer online store where customers can purchase our truffles and truffle products, making it more convenient and accessible for them. However, we still maintain our focus on quality and freshness, even for our more accessible products, to ensure that our customers always receive the best possible truffles.

If you're someone who's never tried truffles before, or if you simply enjoy exotic foods, then our product might interest you. However, it's important to note that different types of truffles are available during different seasons, with the most expensive being the white Italian truffle that's found fresh during winter. This type of truffle is very expensive, as it's often difficult and time-consuming for truffle hunters to find just a few grams of it. Nevertheless, we always aim to be fair in our pricing and offer good value for money, as we source our truffles from small independent businesses and cater to both restaurants and individual customers.

To run a sustainable business, we need to make a profit, but we always strive to maintain fairness in our pricing and how we present our product to customers. Our success lies in offering high-quality truffles that are free from added aroma, which isn't always the case with cheaper alternatives available in the market. When purchasing truffles, it's essential to ensure that you're getting the real thing and not just a bunch of chemicals, which is a concern we address by providing genuine truffle products to our customers.

Finally, what do you see as the future of the truffle industry, both in terms of trends and opportunities? Are there any exciting developments or projects on the horizon for Mr. Truffle that you can share with us?

I can say that we have seen a significant change in people's awareness of truffles since we launched Mr Truffle in 2014. Back then, I had to educate people about what truffles were, as many had never even tried them or seen one before. They had only heard of truffles in passing, without really knowing what they were.

However, nowadays, truffles have become very popular, and many people have had the opportunity to try truffle products. This growing trend presents a potential for the market, but it's up to the consumers to understand what constitutes good truffle products and what doesn't. It's important to know what is actually truffle and what is not.

We see potential for growth and education in this area, and we actively organize truffle hunting tours in Italy, where we explain the different types of truffles available during each season. Each season has its own unique profile, with different types of truffles, qualities, and prices. Therefore, when you see "black truffle" on a menu, you should question which specific type of black truffle the restaurant is referring to, as black winter truffles will cost much more than black summer truffles.

To help with this, we organize truffle hunting tours in Italy where we explain the different types of truffle available during each season, how to recognise good quality truffles and, of course, how to best preserve and cook them! Each season has its own unique profile and Italy has the best geographical location with ideal conditions which makes for perfect truffle shape, aroma, and taste.

As the market grows, there are many opportunities for new competitors to enter the market. However, it's important to be loyal to your supplier and for the supplier to be loyal to the customer by providing the best quality products in the market. If you're paying a premium price, you deserve a premium product, not just volume without quality leading to the “illusion” of having a truffle experience that is very far from being real.

If you would like to find out more about Mr Truffle, visit https://www.trufflesinlondon.co.uk/ or follow on https://www.facebook.com/trufflesinlondon/ or https://www.instagram.com/mr.truffle_london/

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