Accordions Worldwide Celebrity Interview of Baffetti Accordion Factory
Celebrity Interviews


Editor Holda Paoletti-Kampl with Baffetti Accordions

Genuino Baffetti
Cinzia Baffetti
Milena Baffetti


Q: Tell us about the Baffetti History…. YOUR history with the accordion?
A: I grew up in a family business, where the accordion manufacture was started nearly 40 years ago in 1977 by my father and his brother in law.

I was 13 years of age when I first became aquainted with the manufacturing of  accordion. Not working, but living right within all the happenings.  Hearing the familiy talk about being an independant company, whereas before, the father was working for 20 years as a worker in various accordion factories.


Starting their business, they began by making parts for other factories such as the famous Elka factory and Paolo Soprani.  The family continued for a very long time in collaboration with the Paolo Soprani factory making not only some parts but also making entirely, some models of diatonic accordions.

Q: When did you decide to make your own products?
A: After some years, when my sister Cinzia and I were about 22/20 years old, we started to work in the factory and decided shortly after, to manufacture something of our own –  Baffetti instruments (piano and diatonic – for the italian market). 

We were lucky at that time, as our product pleased and we were able to integrate ourselves in the Italian market.  Never the less, we have continued to maintain collaboration with Paolo Soprani and to also intensify our own production.


Q: Genuino – what was your first beginning in accordion manufacturing?

A: First I was learning the bass mechanism and later on, began working in the wood department. The final quality control of the instrument, was the last step of my working experience where I was controlling the quality of the entire instrument – to ensure that all was as it should be.

At first, this work was always done with the help of very experienced workers.

Q: So your father led and encouraged you to learn about the whole manufacturing process of accordion construction?
A: Yes…. my father was very interested for me to learn all the different processes of  accordion manufacturing. He himself, always worked with wood and loved the wood department the most.  Me I preferred to keep all my fingers (smile), seeing so many other workers with 9, or 8 ½ fingers…. my father still has all of his fingers in his old age!

Q: When did you and your sister Cinzia take over guiding the company?
A: Actually very early! Our father, even though he loved his job, also had high confidence in our abilities and gave us very quickly, a lot of responsibility.  For me, right after the military service and my diploma of bookkeeping, we started, Cinzia and I, to be responsible and to have control.

So at an early stage, we were travelling to the Frankfurt Musikmesse together and since many years, our sister Milena is with us - at the Frankfurt trade fair and meeting international customers as well as clients (mainly music shops) throughout Italy.


Q: So right from this early stage, your father was promoting you both as a key management of the business?
A: Exactly – of course I must say, that the company of my father was a young company and me and Cinzia saw ourselves growing with it. Most probably, the reason, why our father had the confidence to hand over the guidance of the company to us was, not depending on a long history…. we were continuously growing into it…. so after only a few years, our father saw us, more as collaborators whom he could trust  – and young people to whom he would be able to leave a significant / important inheritance.

Q: So your father had great confidence as well as trusted you –  otherwise he would not have acted this way?!
A: Yes, for sure! Our education was also quite strict, so my parents knew exactly how our strategies and work would be: responsible!

Q: Being in constant contact with the clients from early times – you must have learned to realize the exact needs of many different musicans!
A: It was a big help for me, having the confidence of my father, to go and visit the customers and these important contacts, has helped me greatly, to understand many things about the needs of musicians as well as the actual cosmetic requests of the market.

Q: Did you find a change in the production of diatonic accordions over the years?
A: Oh definitely. Diatonic accordions have changed enormously and a great evolution has taken place, because 30 years back, the diatonic accordion had it’s place mainly in traditional music, depending on the country. 

With the younger musicians getting involved with the diatonic accordion, there has continued a strong element playing traditional music and also, being highly musically prepared, a strong element wanting to play modern music of different styles and nationalities.

There has been a demand for many more features - for example, with more keys, the left side more complete, new colours and designs, etc.

Q: We see in your factory display here, many many different models….?
A: In our production line we have about 100 different models.  Alot more than in the past.


Q: We also see, that Baffetti Diatonic Accordions do distinguish themselves already by their looks – why?

A: We have several departments in our manufacturing process, that are customized and are exclusively Baffetti Products and therefore unique which include other materials, logos and colors, that identify the instrument clearly as a Baffetti instrument.

Q: How about the external look of your instruments ?
A: In the last years, also the external looks of the instruments have changed a lot. About 10 years back, the instrument had some kind of standard look, wood, wood and wood – maybe different kinds of wood but mainly wood and celluloid in black, white, red and green.  Whereas NOW, there a many different ways and styles and designs of paint graphics depending also upon the market/country - some with very rich and colorful paint and some in the more original ways.


Q: We see so many different models played by artists, it seems, that each accordion is a unique accordion – is this so?
A: Correct…most artists want to have their "own" personalized instrument, choosing the model, and then wanting to have a personal finish.


Q: Does this interfere with your production?
A: Well – the heart of the accordion – the cases – always remain the same. This gives us the possibility to produce, as soon as we see our stock diminishing.  Only the finishing part regarding materials, colours and tuning becomes more individually selective.


Q: You have moved to this new factory…..
A: In the years 2000, we realized, that the new European market laws had made many new rules for manufacturing instruments, which forced us to either make many changes to our present factory, or to move to a new efficient production facility, as the number of workers was growing and the existing factory space was insufficient.

It was quite some stress for all of us, having to move and to handle this new situation including financially, but today we are here and proud of that decision, that was risky at that time, but had the promise of many benefits.

Now the new factory, with its greater space and better work efficiency, good instrument display area, has ensured our place in the international market, able to effect, more efficient production systems and efficient timing, delivery and better quality control for our instruments, all made in Italy.

Q:  Why do you feel your company is a market leader?
A: We do not believe, that we are THE market leader in absolutely every market, but we have, together with other companies, a big share of presenting the best of Italian hande made diatonic accordions. 

We are very proud of our quality and our name BAFFETTI and for having introduced our instruments nationally and then internationally, with big success.

 

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