TOGETHER AGAIN: Historic Milanese café and pastry shop Sant Ambroeus has a new owner.
Simonetta Festorazzi and her family, who acquired the popular spot in the 1980s, have sold Sant Ambroeus, established in 1936, to New York-based SA Hospitality Group, which already operates the Sant Ambroeus brand in North America with hip locations in Manhattan, Southampton and Palm Beach.
SA Hospitality Group, which last year received a 35 million euros investment by British fund Three Hills, will support the growth of the café, opening the location, which now closes at 9 p.m., for dinner.
The operation highlights the growing interest in traditional Milanese pastry and coffee shops. In 2013, French conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton acquired a majority stake in Cova, while the following year Prada Group bought a 80 percent stake in Marchesi.
The American company was founded in 2003 by Gherardo Guarducci and Dimitri Pauli, the latter son of Hans and Francesca Pauli, the former owners of the Sant Ambroeus unit in Milan. In 1982 they opened the first location in New York, before permanently relocating to the U.S. in 1986 and selling the Italian shop to Festorazzi.
SA Hospitality Group chief executive officer Giulia Farinelli will handle the management and development of the Milanese location, and Festorazzi will continue to develop the relationship with the clients and will serve as the brand ambassador of the group in Italy.
Along with Sant Ambroeus, SA Hospitality Group in the U.S. also operates the Casa Lever and Felice brands, for a network including a total of 19 restaurants, coffee shops and ice cream parlors.