Our story begins in a faraway place, a long, long time ago.......
9th century Sicily was a major trading hub for exotic spices from the far east, an exciting place of trade and new ideas as well as an ever-evolving culture.
As was common at the time, many families took on the names of their professions, and so it was that the "Cannella" family name was born, given to spice merchants of the day.
Our family always knew that "Cannella" meant cinnamon, and had Sicilian origins, but it wasn't until 2010 that we would come to understand our roots. On a visit to Catania, Sicily, my uncle and I sat down for a drink at the cozy bar at our hotel, and came across a simple, rustic bottle that would become the inspiration for our Cannella Cinnamon Cordial.
The Journey West
We brought a few bottles home, and it became an instant family tradition to bring it out after a nice meal and at gatherings, until (gasp!) we'd run out. And so we did what any good Italian family would do in such a situation. We set about learning how to make our own!
And now, several years and dozens of variations later.... after much testing and expert feedback, with the support of family, friends and the discerning feedback of many bartenders, bar managers and spirits afficionados across the country....
We are live! Batch #1 of our namesake Cannella Cinnamon Cordial was produced in November 2014, and sold out almost immediately, creating the positive momentum we needed to expand. We have Cannella placed at many great bars and retail locations, and are positioned well as we extend our product line to other traditional spirits of Southern Italy.
In December 2014 we threw our coming-out party, a great time on the roof of the historic San Francisco Art Institute. The day was captured beautifully by Morgan Riccilli Slade, founder of Kitchen in Season.
Many thanks to my wife Annie for letting me take over the kitchen way too often, to my dad "Big Joe", for working with me on this, to Clint and Tim at Seven Stills, whose license we are operating under to bring our Cannella Cordial to market, to Brian Turkowski and Floyd Mitchell (the masterminds behind our gorgeous label), and to all of you that have helped us get to this point.
*It's possible that "cannella" was used to describe the physical characteristics of people of the day. As in, perhaps tall, dark and thin. But if you know my family, you'll know this is a highly unlikely theory!