Katia Guardo and Luca Roccasalva; revolutionize gluten free starting from the love and well-being of people.
by Giuseppe Savarino
Sicily always reserves exciting stories and unexpected intuitions. Some of these become important success stories, such as that of Royaline Sicilia by Katia and Luca Roccasalva. A mill inherited from his father and the desire to try his hand at innovation in a growing sector starting from scratch. An intuition born of love for his daughter Alba and her early gluten intolerance. This is how two loving parents redesign a company, experimenting day after day with special flours and blends with the aim of definitively breaking down the boundaries of taste with traditional flour, thus conquering a new frontier of flavor and well-being.
To learn more about the history of Royaline which over the years has become one of the leading Sicilian companies in the gluten-free sector, I decide to meet its founders, Katia and Luca. They welcome me to their laboratory in a quiet area in the upper part of the picturesque Modica. The smell of bread and baked goods bewitches the nostrils of the whole neighborhood. The appearance of the laboratory is that of a traditional bakery, with ovens and all kinds of equipment for bread making and the production of pizzas, breads and desserts. We start conversing over a coffee, accompanied by delicious strictly Gluten Free biscuits. A few meters away, another branch of the company where the mixes and packaging of Gluten-free preparations originate. Special flours that, processed in restaurants or at home, become wonderful dishes with a flavor so good that they challenge traditional ones without hesitation.
Luca has an eclectic personality, a curious and countercurrent nature, a free spirit and a high sense of social. Son of art, the father in the second post-war period, returned from Venezuela, bought a mill where he milled Sicilian grains and cereals, an activity that continues today. A fascinating story characterized by willpower, great intuition and a spirit of sacrifice.
– When my father left us the mill, the result of so much hard work, I felt catapulted into a new dimension but at the same time I realized that this business reality was affected by time. It was necessary to grasp the important signs of market change, it was necessary to get back into play radically.
Katia is a woman with a marked sensitivity and with that characteristic determination of someone who has learned to overcome the obstacles of life with her own strength. Her sincere smile immediately puts you in a good mood. Together with her husband Luca they form a dynamic and complementary couple.
It all started when our daughter Alba began to show signs of gluten intolerance, – says Katia – suddenly we found ourselves facing a new and delicate situation. At the beginning, like many, we began to use what the market offered, flour, pasta and foods without taste and unpleasant textures. We noticed that eating was no longer a pleasure for our daughter but only a necessity. She had to be content with being at the table to feed herself without the joy of taste. But above all we noticed that “distance” that play was created at the table due to the need to differentiate foods. A situation intolerable for us. From there, thanks to the long experience with traditional grains, we immediately tried to mix quality gluten-free ingredients to restore dignity to our daughter’s food. Endless experiments, mixtures, doughs, and then cooking and temperatures to improve their taste and consistency. It was a tough gym whose first results were really disheartening. Then gradually the conquests and improvements. The things we did were good. Alba began to smile at the table as well as our first customers to whom we tried our Gluten Free experiments. It was an indescribable emotion. We had achieved an important result, bringing joy to the table of those who are intolerant or allergic to gluten.
Today Royaline is a consolidated reality, a point of reference for catering that focuses on quality Gluten Free and nutrition at home. The products are loved for their unique characteristics. Mixtures and bases obtained from the assembly of the highest quality raw materials studied in proportions to obtain healthy, balanced foods with a taste practically indistinguishable from the classic products containing gluten.
One of our biggest goals has always been to reduce differences at the table – continues Luca – Gluten free for us does not mean giving up pleasure but conquering new frontiers of taste and going further, seeking a higher standard of well-being for all. Today our products are loved and appreciated not only by those with special dietary needs, but also by gourmets.
A long work of research and experimentation that has already obtained several awards such as the Innovation Award, obtained at the Rimini fair and a growing and continuous request for products and training both from professionals and ordinary people who contact every day the company to ask for advice on the optimal preparation of delicious delicacies. Hence the need to create video tutorials to obtain professional results even at home and the growing collaboration with various nationally known Gluten free bloggers. A small great wellness revolution, where the customer is the main actor.
You realize that you are on the right track when people ask you for advice or urge you to create video recipes to get more and more from Royaline products. All this attention today fills us with pride and pushes us to do more and more – continues Katia. Together with our trusted collaborator Pietro Modica, I recently made a video tutorial to prepare at home the legendary Sicilian brioches “with the tuppo” to eat with ice cream or granita. A success!
A growing demand, therefore, both in Italy and abroad, an e-commerce channel for the online sale of products that smooth out the differences in taste and point to the well-being of the individual. Today Royaline, the spearhead of Sicilian entrepreneurship in the Gluten free sector, operates on two production lines; the mix of flours for catering and for domestic use alongside the line of ready-to-eat products such as bread worked in different ways, bases for pizza, biscuits, brioches and Sicilian specialties, all preserved in a modified atmosphere or frozen for preserve its fragrance and nutrients.