My friend Mimmo,
In the summer of 2011 my friend Luciano owner of Hotel San Domenico in Soverato introduced me to one of the most fascinating men in the Calabria. I was greeted by a small elderly man who was full of energy and danced he greeted me at the gate. As we walked through the property we saw miles of pepperoncino plants. I did not know at the time that this was where everyone came to get their pepperoncino. We were taken through miles of pepperoncino fields. He proudly showed us around his property . After many hours of drinking home made wine, eating everything that was grown on the property, and homemade olives (the best you have ever tasted) we were finally told the story of his life and what brought him to this magical place.
I must give you some back ground on Mimmo. He was born into a family of farmers. He had 5 sisters and he is the youngest in the family. In the era that he was growing up in the children did not go to school for long, instead they help the parents continuing the work of the family. It was decided that they youngest child being a boy was going to leave his home and go to College.
Leaving his beautiful Calabria was devastating for him.. He went to Milan , married and became the head or Department of Commerce for the beautiful town of Monza. He lives there with his wife Anna. As we were sitting at dinner with Mimmo he explained to us that he was so fortunate to have had a great life in Milan that he decided to go back to Calabria and pay it forward. He purchased the land and started to grow his own pepperoncino along with olive trees and tomatoes and of course lemons and grapes. So it goes with out saying the best Lemoncello and Wine you have ever tasted is made by Mimmo! The pepperoncino club of Soverato is an organization that Mimmo started. My friends and I are lucky enough to be members. So what does Mimmo do with the pepperoncino? What ever donation he receives from his pepperoncino he gives to the children that are illiterate and needy. One condition is that the families will not know who he is.
It is no wonder that when I am in Calabria I bring my clients to meet Mimmo and most become members of the Pepperoncino club of Soverato.