Apricot Preserves, Darbo 11#
The Darbo family began producing fruit jams, fruit syrups and exquisite fruit liqueurs in 1879. The numerous awards won by these delicacies, produced in a small factory in what was formerly the Austrian city of Görz, show that, even back then, the Darbo name embodied a passion for fruit processing. Thus began the gradual growth of a company that would become known and appreciated well beyond the city boundaries.
When World War I broke out in Europe, however, the factory – the company’s pride and joy – was seriously damaged and many years of hard work appeared to have been lost. Thus it came to pass that the Darbo family had to leave Görz and relocate to Stans in Tyrol. Despite these bitter setbacks, the family quickly rebuilt the company and focused on producing fine jams and bottling honey from that point onwards.
They were helped by the fact that Tirol was enjoying a small increase in tourism even in the 1920s, with visitors from near and far able to come and be wowed by Darbo’s delicious products.
Buoyed by the growing demand, the family took the bold step to build a new factory in the 1950s and they also began attracting more private households as customers. Darbo steadily gained market share and expanded its range in both the foodservice and food retail industry and became the market leader for jams and honeys in Austria, not least because of its loyal customer base.
Its success in Austria served as an encouraging confirmation that its strategy was working, so the company also ventured the odd glimpse abroad too. However, it soon became clear that its current operating site was not big enough to supply any new markets. Another factory was opened in Stans in 1993 after intense planning. The company was now enjoying growing success supplying its fine jams, honeys and syrups to shops outside of Austria as well. In the mid-1990s, Darbo also decided to start making fruit products for creameries, bakeries and confectioners and so Darbo’s delicious fruits found their way into many a doughnut and yoghurt.
After decades of running the company, Klaus Darbo handed the reins over in 2009 to his son Martin, who is now the fifth generation of the family to run the business, which he does alongside his uncle Adolf. Darbo is now a well-known medium-sized family firm that makes high-quality products at three sites in Tyrol for restaurants and hotels as well as for the foodservice and food processing industries.