A long history serving Toronto

Canada’s very first espresso machine arrived in Toronto in 1954 when Giacomo Zuccarini opened the “Sidewalk Caffé” at Yonge and College. So began the initial distribution of the Gaggia line in Canada, and the inception of Zuccarini Importing Company Ltd.

Still family-run to this day and built on a solid reputation of expert sales and service, our line has expanded to include other Italian brands such as Victoria Arduino, Nuova Simonelli, Elektra, Izzo, Avanti, and Bezzera. We also feature the exclusive line of Routin 1883 French syrups & sauces, most Barista supplies, and provide Barista Workshops for home and commercial clients.

Zuccarini Importing – Canada’s premier importer of fine Italian espresso equipment for home, office & commercial use.

Wake up & Smell the Coffee


It’s time to luxe up your caffeine intake, and your kitchen style say Colin and Justin.

IT’S NO SECRET that Canadians love (as do we) their coffee. Statistics proclaim it’s the country’s second most consumed beverage, after water. Literally all year round. Aye, whatever the barometric charts care to deliver, Canadians seem hell bent on lapping up their beloved bean juice at every single turn. 

Our own love affair with coffee started many moons ago whilst filming a TV show in Melbourne, Australia. Having snatched an afternoon free from our filming schedule, we ventured into Prahran, one of the city’s hipper enclaves.

Stumbling from our taxi to join the hoards of fashionistas promenading Chapel Street, we swooned at the Victorian architecture, the vernacular of which provided a stunning backdrop to our stolen hours. Later, settled in a cute wee street side café, we tried not to rubber neck as Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett floated by on a cloud of Hollywood glamour. Wow, what a first impression… we so needed a coffee…

We soon learned that “bean juice” in Australia is a religion, and a highly fashionable one at that. The notion of coffee as a way of life springs from the hipster suburbs that have redefined the hallowed brew as a lifestyle choice, a mantra and as a vital component that adds personal pleasure, warmth and luxury to all who’re lured by its intoxicating aroma.

Antipodean coffee bars, we learned from our time down under, tend not to be mass produced global brands. Australia, in fact, such is the love for independent cafes, respect for baristas and the drive for amazing coffee, is one of the few countries in which Starbucks struggled to make an impact.

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The ghost in the machines

From his long-running shop on Davenport, Giacomo Zuccarini was the man who taught Toronto how to make a good cup of coffee


In 1954, Giacomo Zuccarini imported the very first espresso machine to Toronto, a city where it would now be hard to find a block without one.

He was 33 years old at the time, an immigrant from Cerqueto Del Tronto, in Italy’s Abruzzo, but his path from the family farm to that landmark achievement was anything but straight.

At 14, Giacomo left his parents to earn a better living for himself and his family. Faking a Roman dialect, he was able to find work at restaurants in the country’s capital. Several years later, while serving his compulsory year of military service, Italy joined the Second World War, and the 18-year-old was sent to a North African port to receive supplies.

When he was captured by the Allies, Giacomo was given his pick of pris- oner-of-war camps, and he chose the Americans’, correctly predicting they would have enough money to feed the captives. In short order, he improved his situation even further by bribing guards to let him out at night to go dancing in Casablanca.

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Prepare to Caffeinate


Coffee. Aside from our affection for Scotch and old school French wine, it’s fair to report that indulgent caffeinated drinks are our only addiction.

And we’re not talking ‘double doubles’ from Tim Hortons. No sir. We’re talking rich aromatic brews, topped with hedonistic frothy crema, pulled with love (not to mention water pressure and determined steam) from the mechanical jaws of the world’s best coffee makers.

Yes indeed, ‘at home’ coffee consumption has come a long way from ‘kettle on, powder in a cup’ dullsville of days gone by. Transitioning from the humble stove top pots and percolators of the 1970s, to the oh-so chi-chi. French press plunging that proliferated the 1980s (and onwards) coffee is no longer simply a drink – it’s a way of life. And a seriously hip way of life at that. But which device should you choose?

For those who aspire to joining the hipster coffee brigade, the Oracle Touch, from Australian manufacturer Breville, is the machine equivalent of having your very own ‘at home’ barista.

And its operation couldn’t be easier: a fully automated touch screen simplifies everything into three easy steps — grinding, brewing and milk preparation.

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The Life of a Canadian Icon


Restaurant pioneer,
dancer, lover of women
– and a good cup of coffee.

Born August 18, 1921,
in Cerqueto Del Tronto, Teramo, Italy.

Died April 8, 2000,
in Toronto, of leukemia, aged 78.

Long before Starbucks or Tim Hortons there was Giacomo Zuccarini. For 46 years, as the exclusive distributor of Gaggia espresso machines in Canada, he made it his life’s work to teach Canadians to make and enjoy a decent cup of coffee.

When he arrived in Toronto in the early 1950s, by way of Mexico City, Casablanca, London and Italy, it was not love at first sight. Too many dirt roads, not enough culture, and the coffee . . . aqua sporca! Dirty water.

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8 places to buy espresso machines in Toronto


Espresso machines in Toronto are by no means a niche industry; we’re a fast moving city fueled in large part by our gargantuan consumption of caffeine.

But, if you’re anything like me, you’re particular about your coffee. Not just any run-of-the-mill (albeit economical) Black and Decker drip model will do; rather, it needs to produce a quality shot of espresso and be visually stimulating, which often requires going beyond your neighbourhood Canadian Tire or Wal-Mart.

Zuccarini not only offers imported Italian espresso machines, but also bears a long history of serving Toronto caffeine addicts since 1954. In fact, they claim to have begun the influx of espresso machines into Canada – with a Gaggia, no less – and have continued to do so through a family-run operation. Their stock has expanded to include Elektra, Nuova Simonelli, Izzo, Bezerra, Pasquini, and Victoria Arduino, and it all comes with an in-house warranty guarantee.

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The Jewels of Food for People with Taste

Before there was a gourmet coffee shop on every corner, Giacomo Zuccarini was introducing Torontonians to the sublime pleasures of proper Italian espresso, importing Canada’s very first espresso machine an incredible 50 years ago. With that groundbreaking event, the famous Gaggia line was introduced to Canada, and Zuccarini Importing Company Ltd. was born.

Today, Giacomo has passed on, but his business thrives in the hands of his eldest daughter. Jackie Zuccarini heads up Canada’s premier importing company of fine Italian espresso equipment for home, office and commercial use.

For those of you true coffee lovers who couldn’t imagine starting your day or ending a meal without a shot of espresso or frothy cappuccino, Jackie suggests becoming your own “Barista” (skilled espresso machine operator) and investing in a quality espresso/cappuccino machine, and getting some free Home Barista training.