The catering offer, the supermarket and the services dedicated to travellers have been fully renovated, creating an innovative customer experience at the point of sale

Thanks to “Campagna Amica” of Coldiretti, the products of the territory are valorised

An eco-sustainable building regeneration with a project designed by the Studio of Architecture Iosa Ghini Associates


Novara, 5th July 2017 – Chef Express, the company that manages all the catering activities of the Cremonini Group, has completed the renovation of the large motorway bridge service area of Novara Nord and Sud (A4 Milan-Turin), a historic symbol of motorway catering in Italy. In Novara, indeed, the confectionary entrepreneur Mario Pavesi opened in 1947, exactly seventy years ago, the first service area on Italian motorways.

The official inauguration took place today with a press conference in which, in addition to the Mayor of Novara Alessandro Canelli, intervened the Chairman of Satap, Gianni Luciani, the CEO of the Cremonini Group, Vincenzo Cremonini, and the CEO of Chef Express, Cristian Biasoni. At the end guests were able to taste the dishes prepared by Chef Roberto Valbuzzi for the menu of the OltreGusto restaurant.

 According to Alessandro Canelli, Mayor of NovaraCremonini’s intervention gives a new facelift to a structure that represents a real symbol for our territorial reality as well as for highway catering in Italy, since the old "stop-over" was the first pioneering experiment of motorway catering. The modern revision results innovative in the services and in the offer to travellers according to different types of commercial propositions: not just a simple stop-over, but an avant-garde area that, in line with its past, today is still pioneeristic in its management choices through an integrated digitisation system. We also appreciate the fact that the modern approach, which has seen the consistant collaboration with the Coldiretti association, has taken into account the opportunity to promote the products of the territory, giving momentum to the revival of typical foods and wine and to an important part of our economy. Last but not least, we would like to remind you that already over one hundred people work in the service area and that the company's intention is to further implement jobs according to the different types of needs that will emerge in the near future”.

 Cristian Biasoni, CEO of Chef Express, explained, "Today, there is a need to rethink the relationship with the traveller, adjusting supply to current demand. The architectural project for the Novara area, designed by the Studio Iosa Ghini Associati, has this aim and has been studied for a long time so as to match the history of this area and its future by introducing an innovative customer experience system for highway catering. The goal was to create an environment not only welcoming but also engaging, a holistic system that encompasses the architectural layout, store signs, digital communication, the organisation of the food offer, the supermarket and the through routes: all coordinated with an experiential function, with integrated digital instruments that characterise all the service area".

The offer is very large with seven different proposals between food and retail formats modified from urban contexts and from important partnerships. The two restaurants, Burgery and Oltre Gusto, are situated on the bridge structure: the first is a gourmet hamburger restaurant that enhances fast service with quality meats guaranteed by the experience and history of Roadhouse and the Cremonini Group, one of Europe’s leading operators in the meat sector; the second, thanks to the collaboration with Chef Roberto Valbuzzi, offers a menu enriched with tasty signature recipes, which are permanently part of the food offer.

On the ground floor, direction Turin side, there is the cafeteria Lavazza Etigua, named after the Arabic blend coming from slow food protection areas of Ethiopia and Guatemala, which offers a truly real coffee experience, a proper tasting of high quality coffee on the motorway. Besides the bar can be found Gourmé, a delicatessen corner created in partnership with Italia Alimentari, to enjoy salami, cheeses and typical products alongside the best wine tasting choices of the territory.

On the direction Milan side, can be found located the pizzeria Pomodoro&Mozzarella, characterised by the use of selected and natural raw materials, including flour derived from the precious and rustic Grano Verna, buffalo mozzarella from the Tempio farm and the Apulian tomato Rosso Gargano; and finally there is JuiceBar, the healthy food format that won the 2017 Food Service Award in the Green Appeal category, which offers a wide assortment of fresh produce ready to be consumed immediately or taken away.

Also the supermarket has undergone a revolution. The main idea of the new "Chef Store" was to create a parking area, not a way out with an obbliged route as is customarily found in most motorway supermarkets. By overturning a common scheme, the new supermarket has its own functional identity, as with the coffee and catering areas: a multi-path layout ("fast", quicker to get out, "slow", for typical regional products, "tech" which privileges electronics, phones, etc.) where it is the customer who decides where to go.

In the Chef Store, particular emphasis has been placed on the island offering regional products of the territory which are made available to travellers thanks to the agreement between Chef Express and Filiera Agricola Italiana S.p.A., promoted by Coldiretti, with 60 companies involved: high quality products from the surrounding territory guaranteed by the brand Endorsed by Italian Farmers, in the framework of Campagna Amica.

Features of the new area, designed in respect of the environment

The Novara "bridge" was inaugurated in 1962, designed by Arch. Angelo Bianchetti, in the same place as the first motorway catering facility opened in Italy in 1947: originally belonged to the chain launched by confectioner entrepreneur Mario Pavesi, a pioneer of motorway catering, who made, between 1959 and 1971, 12 of the 14 existing bridges on the Italian motorway network. These structures have accompanied the great development of civil motorisation during the economic boom years and have entered into the collective imagination thanks also to the cinema, which has used them as sets for countless films.

The service area of Novara has a total surface area of 4,620 square metres, of which 1,370 sq.m. dedicated to the commercial area, and 320 sq.m. to the supermarket. More than 115 people are employed. Every year more than 16 million vehicles pass through in both directions.

The architectural project was undertaken by Iosa Ghini Associati, with a particular attention towards issues of environmental sustainability, while the executive design and engineering services were entrusted to Politecnica, one of the leading Italian integrated planning companies (architecture, engineering and town planning ). The building has been completely regenerated and isolated with an outside coating of over 1000 sq.m. of laminated white spruce wood, to minimise its air conditioning systems and avoid waste. Respect to the carbon print, wood, which is the environmentally-friendly material par excellence, also carries the virtuous function of a CO2 absorber that doesn’t go into the atmosphere. Finally, the lining also becomes the "visible" element of the project’s philosophy, giving an unmistakable impression to the refurbished area.

The energy saving is complemented by the installation of devices to limit the use of electricity and a photovoltaic system, from the use of lighting with new LED technology, and from the heating and air conditioning units with a new high efficiency system.

All this has resulted in savings of more than 500,000 kWh equivalent, equal to approx. 210 tonnes of CO2 per year not released into the atmosphere. In addition, all electricity purchased is 100% certified by renewable sources.


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Today, Chef Express operates 51 service areas on the Italian motorway network and on the roads of large traffic. In 2016 Chef Express S.p.a. generated consolidated revenues of 512 million Euro, of which 81.4% deriving from concession activities (stations, airports and motorways in Italy, and onboard trains abroad). In the concession catering sector, in addition to motorway areas, Chef Express is the leader in Italy in the railway station buffet market, with 80 outlets in 49 railway stations, and is also present in the airport catering sector with 60 outlets in 11 Italian airports. In the onboard train catering sector, Chef Express is Europe's leader with over 210 trains served daily in 5 European countries. Finally, in commercial catering it controls the chain of meat restaurants branded Roadhouse Restaurant, which today has 103 premises in Italy.

Cremonini, with over 11,000 employees and a turnover in 2016 of 3.7 billion Euro, of which 35% in export sales, is one of the largest food groups in Europe and operates in three business areas: production, distribution and catering. The Group is leader in Italy in the production of beef and processed meat (Inalca, Montana, Manzotin, Ibis) and in the marketing and distribution of food products to the foodservice (MARR). It is leader in Europe in the management of catering onboard trains and holds the leadership in Italy in railway station buffets; it also has a significant presence in the main Italian airports and in motorway catering (Chef Express). Finally, it is present in commercial catering with restaurants branded Roadhouse Restaurant.



Cremonini Press Office

tel. +39 059 754627