An insight into the history of Mepra, how it was born, developed and where it is today.
I. THE BEGINNING
The three Prandelli brothers, Bortolo, Francesco and Giovanbattista, built the first factory in 1901, directly beside the river in Lumezzane, a small town close to Milan. This allowed them to run machinery by use of a water mill. They worked metals as subcontractors and as primary manufacturers in the 30’s through World War II.
II. POST-WAR REINVENTION
After the war, it was necessary to reconvert their production and Giovanbattista’s three sons, Pietro, Felice and Giacomo, founded Mepra (which stands for Metallurgica Prandelli) in 1947. They built a new and modernized plant in the upper side of the valley to produce aluminium and brass flatware. These raw materials were available in great quantities after the war. Each brother was responsible for a different function: Giacomo for production, Felice for sales, and Pietro, who was previously a school teacher, for accounting.
III. 1950’s AND THE INTRODUCTION OF STAINLESS STEEL
In 1950, the Prandelli brothers decided to convert the production to 18/10 stainless steel. This move was highly successful and in the following 20 years the company grew continuously and extended its range to include holloware and kitchenware. Later, Mepra also begun producing silver-plated flatware and holloware.
IV. A NEW GENERATION TAKES OVER
In 1972, Gianni, the son of Pietro, joined the family business. At the beginning, he was responsible for production, together with uncle Giacomo. In the following years, he became the main conduit between production and sales. becoming CEO in 1977 and President in 1999. In 1985, Luigi, the son of Felice, joined the company. He was responsible for Marketing and Accounting, later becoming CEO.
V. THE GREAT 80’s
The 80’s were years of great growth for Mepra. For the new collections, stainless steel was combined with new materials such as plastic, glass, wood and porcelain. The sale results were so good that, in 1992, Mepra decided to open a new plant dedicated solely to the production of plastic.
VI. THE 90’s AND THE IMPORTANCE OF DESIGN
In the 90’s, in order to respond to the most refined customer’s needs, Mepra developed a network of cooperation with some of the most influential designers including Angelo Mangiarotti and a host of other young talented avant-garde designers who still work for the company full-time or on a project basis.
VII. MODERN TIMES
Today, Research and Development costs represent about 8% of Mepra’s turnover – one of the highest ratios in our industry. This investment spawns creativity, design and utmost quality in everything Mepra do. From the quality of the raw materials used, to the thickness and flawless finishing these are all signatures of Mepra.
Mepra truly brings three generations of Italian tradition, design and lifestyle together.