cleca san martino, budino san martino,

If anyone is wondering what the name Cleca stands for, let it be known that this name encapsulates the history of this company, and that the San Martino brand is its seal.

Everything started in the 1930s with a very imaginative and determined man, and his equally worthy wife.

Clearco and Eneide started a family which turned into a company almost osmotically: with names like those, how could it be any different?

Life in San Martino Dell’Argine was quite simple at the beginning of the last century,

for a place that had been a magnificent Gonzaga owned territory. For generations, the Cantoni family had run an ancient grocery store, passing names and traditions through the generations. Clearco Cantoni (Cleca), however, had a dream: to yield a natural yeast from cream of tartar. Incidentally, he was doing local farmers a favour by scraping the cream of tartar from empty wine vats!

Wife Eneide, who only heard about her husband’s adventurous bicycle journeys in the countryside without taking part to them, set up a scientific home station to finely calibrate and package the yeast. Soon a local girl, Paola, started to help her, and it’s been a constant rise since then. Today the company has around 60 employees, nearly all from San Martino and nearby villages.


With a friend and business partner, Mr. Bongiovanni, Clearco faced the war years, and in the 1970s the opening of the plant. The first products were always super: super-yeast, super-budino, super-drink, because if one has to dream, he might as well do it properly. To these, more products were soon added: stock cubes, spreads, pudding mixtures to be proud of: San Martino is Italy’s leading company for certified quality throughout the production process and for its choice of the finest quality prime ingredients.

This recipe for success has been passed down through the generations, like a secret pact, which is only waiting for the right moment to travel abroad: reminding each other of what goes on here nourishes the family tables!

Every day in the kitchen-laboratory there are taste tests on every single outgoing food sample, as well as in the canteen where the staff traditionally has lunch together.

There is also a suggestion box, and every year a suggestion is picked and implemented.

It is certainly not surprising that there has never been a strike in this company. This is also definitely down to the company’s “patron saint”! Saint Martin donated half of his mantle to a poor man whilst riding his white horse. Perhaps this is something that the company’s youngest recruit, Rachele, who works with her aunt Barbara, sometimes thinks about while riding her Date Just in the rolling Mantuan countryside!

by Mara Pasetti


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