Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Growing beyond a bakery with an EU-backed loan

Growing beyond a bakery with an EU-backed loan
Published on: 22/05/2018

Location: Castellazzo Bormida, Alessandria, Piemonte
Financial Intermediary: Banca del Mezzogiorno MedioCredito Centrale
SME:  Il Mondo di Bua
Sector: food & beverage
Number of employees: 17
Financing purpose: improving infrastructure
Financing: COSME LGF; EFSI


Il Mondo di Bua is a family business near Alessandria in the Piemonte region of Italy, founded and run by Michele Bua and his wife Lucia with the help of their 3 sons. Il Mondo di Bua was established in a former industrial warehouse where it produces, as Michele says, “fuel for humanity!”

Michele started the business as a bakery but wanted to expand to offer his ‘fuel’ throughout the whole day. Today, the business runs from 6 am to midnight. Beyond the bakery, there is a restaurant, pizzeria, ice-cream parlour, patisserie and bar. In addition, they offer catering services and host events like weddings or baptisms.

With this expansion, however, came escalating operating costs. “It was getting really difficult” explains Michele. “We were close to the breaking point and, during 3 years, I went to different banks but couldn’t get the credit-line I needed. We could only see the money with binoculars!”

In 2016, Michele extensively evaluated operating costs and concluded that energy consumption was one of the biggest ones. He decided to invest in restructuring the electrical, hydraulic and heating infrastructure. To finance this investment, Il Mondo di Bua received an EU-guaranteed loan through Banca del Mezzogiorno MedioCredito Centrale, backed by EIF.

With this financing, Il Mondo di Bua was able to:

  • replace traditional lamps with LED lighting
  • install a photovoltaic system for electricity production 
  • introduce a more energy-efficient oven
  • purchase a multi-fuel boiler with higher energy and environmental efficiency

As a result of these changes, the company now has an estimated yearly savings of €60,000 in energy costs and 34,000kg reduction in CO² emissions. The company can now use freed up resources to support their core activities, like sourcing the best raw materials and staffing. “This was a godsend, no doubt about it”, adds Michele. “Thanks to the financing, we really achieved our goal to have a day-long business and keep the company alive.”

Looking ahead, Michele is already exploring new ways to use the space. One of the projects is to set up a recreational area more suitable for an evening audience, such as a lounge bar or dancing floor.

Businesses can contact selected financial institutions in their country to access EU financing through our access to finance website.