The story of Foodlab and a great salmon

Foodlab is an all-Italian small-business story.

It was founded in 2000 in the heart of Parma’s Food Valley, when three siblings – Gianpaolo, Francesco and Elisabetta Ghilardotti – who succeeded in transforming their love of cooking into a company specialised in importing, processing and marketing smoked, marinated and flavoured salmon throughout the country

Three siblings and an alchemy of factors:

  • The culture of food, inherited almost genetically from an area that has been handing down food and wine secrets for centuries, the home of Culatello, Parmigiano, Prosciutto.
  • Attention to the rules of healthy eating, learnt as children on their grandparents’ farm, where the raw materials on the table were always carefully selected.
  • The entrepreneurial spirit, the desire to give it their all and to overcome a challenge that seemed impossible: salmon in the land of the pig?

Then there was a trip to France, where Gianpaolo, the eldest of the three, landed as a young boy in the kitchens of the multi-starred chef George Blanc: it was here that he saw salmon being smoked in an artisanal way for the first time.

Back in Italy, Gianpaolo put himself to the test with an oven he had handcrafted in his garden. The first experiments among friends were an unexpected success.

The smoked salmon in that same DIY oven, using artisanal processes and exclusive techniques that were soon to become a trademark, met with the approval that launched the venture.

Year after year, Foodlab grew to become a leader in its market in Italy.


square metres of production space


tonnes/year imported product


tonnes of processed raw material per day


unit sold per year


units sold per day



45 mln euro

Turnover 2022

Every day, families and chefs in Italy’s best restaurants and hotels choose Foodlab salmon.