Dario Osella was born on 7th July 1931 in Caramagna Piemonte, to Domenico Osella and Caterina Isoardi. Both of his parents were experts in traditional dairy farming. In the latter half of the 19th century, one of Caterina's ancestors, Giacomo Isoardi, used to come down from the Stura valley with his legendary cart to sell cheeses. Dario's father Domenico himself became famous for creating a Formaggella cheese dedicated to Camillo Benso Count of Cavour, produced in his dairy in Sant’Antonio.
Dario attended the Real Collegio Carlo Alberto I boarding school in Moncalieri and then attended university. Dario Osella recalls that in his university days he was not the most diligent of students. “I would study one page and skip ten...”.
One day during an exam, Professor Golzio noticed that Dario was struggling and asked:
“Tell me Osella, what does your Daddy do for a living?”
“Cheese-making,” replied Dario.
“And your grandfather?” continued the professor.
“Cheese-making," replied Dario ruefully…
At which point Professor Golzio shut the book and handed it back to Osella, saying “Dear Osella, go back to cheese-making because we already have enough lawyers dedicated to mediating quarrels!”.
Passions: wife Anna and cheeses
From that moment onward Dario Osella dedicated himself solely to the world of cheese. He met and fell in love with a beautiful girl from the town of Gorgonzola, Anna Carlotti, who had just won the title of "Miss Muretto di Alassio" in the celebrated beauty pageant. They subsequently married on 4th January 1958 and together embarked upon one of the most fascinating entrepreneurial adventures in post-war Italy. Along the way two children were born: Gino, born in 1959, now a writer and video operator, and Rossella, born in 1962, who graduated in food preparation science specialising in Patent Information.
The imagination of Dario and his loyal cheese makers knew no bounds: they invented Robiola, created Alpino and launched Caramagnin. That was followed by a succession of new cheeses often created in just a few hours and with a handful of tests, before being sold straight to stores or initially to wholesalers, so that they could be sampled and offered to customers for tasting.
They included Alba Bergera, Toma Bianca and Valfiore... Many cheeses reflect the family's image and heritage: the Camembert is dedicated to Dario's grandfather Tommaso, Annabella to his wife Anna, and Ginetto to his son Gino. An idea from Dario's wife Anna led to the creation of Linea, the very fresh cheese that is currently Fattorie Osella's best-selling product.
Dario Osella has always approached everything he does with a cheerful and playful outlook. This positive attitude towards life has opened many doors, including TV appearances on “Piacere Raiuno” with Toto Cotugno and “Portobello”, the famous show fronted by Enzo Tortora.
Dario Osella appeared on the programme with one of his own inventions: a hen that laid chocolate-flavoured eggs. He had fed his favourite hen with plain chocolate for weeks and maintained that the flavour would be transmitted directly to her eggs.
Of course it was just a light-hearted stunt that went down well with the audience. Even today Dario Osella is prone to cracking jokes with the typical creativity that he is famous for.