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Case Study: I TRE CAPI


Azienda Agricola “I tre capi” di Monica Bettollini

What was the seed that grew into what is now your food business?

My business is a family business; my grandparents were farmers, first sharecroppers and then direct farmers of their own lands. My parents were farmer owners too. Their farm consisted of the same land as my grandparents and mainly suited to the cultivation of vegetables.

The company, was formed initially by my grandparents, was passed down to me from my parents’ when they retired. I further added land and resources to the company which was previously developed directly by me and suited to olive groves.

My enterprise developed from the result of merging two rural nuclei. One located in the area of Val di Chiana, in a province of Siena,  from my grandparents and the other located in the hills of Montepulciano directly created by me for my development in olive farming.

I decided to specialise and cultivate  the “Aglione” which is special kind of garlic found in the Val di Chiana countryside that has big cloves and a sweet flavor to taste.

From the comparison with other local producers my idea to specialize was born. I worked with the association for the protection and enhancement of bio diverse products, to help revalue and develop an almost forgotten product, that yields a vast amount of nutritional and health properties.

This developed and it was decided to transform the product and market the processed products directly, with a  shorter supply chain this gave the product a competitive edge in the market; to date expanding in local markets and further due to our online market . 

What has been the biggest hurdle you have overcome as a female food entrepreneur? Or biggest lesson/ learning?

The biggest rock being “woman” has been and still is today, merging work with family life management. 

From this experience I have learned and I continuously learning that with commitment and sacrifice, it’s possible to manage work and still be present for my family needs.

What is your best piece of advise for other aspiring female food entrepreneurs?

I can say to women entrepreneurs that they must have confidence in themselves.

If something on the way does not go in the right way (and it will certainly happen, even more than one at the same time !!!), consider it an experience anyway and not a failure.  

If there was training available for you before you set up your business would you use it, or did you do any training.

I grew up in the fields of the family business so this would have been the basis of my training. In college I studied up to the technical surveyor and I never did any specific business training, but I would have and would if it was available to me.

If you’d like training what areas would you like to it on specifically. Or if you did training did it help grow your business?

If I could I would have a specific training to help in the economic planning of my business.

Currently, I proceed by challenging myself and my ideas with the trade association to which I adhere and communicate with along with trusting myself and the bank.

My business is growing in comparison to other similar business peers that I network with during seminars promoted by the trade association.

Website –

Facebook – I tre Capi –

Instagram –  @itrecapi –