Biordi Art Imports
Famiglia Biordi, Savio & Baldini
In 1946, Emilio Biordi, a native of the Abruzzo region of Italy, opened Biordi Artigianato Italiano, on Columbus Avenue in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. North Beach, an Italian village within the City limits of San Francisco, became home to Emilio’s store at 412 Columbus Avenue, where you will find us today. Emilio featured a broad range of Italian Handicrafts and Products including espresso machines, ravioli cutters, rolling pins and pasta machines - ceramics were tucked away in every corner. Locals and visitors came from far and wide on the spreading word of the beautiful Italian Majolica Ceramics available at Biordi. Chuck Williams of Williams-Sonoma was known to purchase items from Biordi’s, including the famed Rooster pitcher.
While Emilio was building Biordi as a business, Gianfranco Savio, who would eventually become Emilio’s successor, was absorbing the glorious Renaissance art and architecture of his native Florence city. Arriving in San Francisco in his early 30’s, Gianfranco taught Italian at Holy Names University in Oakland and worked for an Italian bank, as he longed for a career that connected more intimately with Italian culture. Hearing that Emilio’s Biordi Art Imports business was for sale in 1977, Gianfranco (“I already loved the store”), met Emilio, who was then 75 and ready to retire. He discovered a kindred spirit in Emilio, which led to Gianfranco’s 42-year ownership of Biordi Art Imports. For a full year following Gianfranco’s purchase, Emilio mentored and guided Gianfranco in every aspect of the business and his place in the North Beach neighborhood.
Gianfranco traveled throughout Italy in search of the finest artisans, establishing long-lasting relationships with many artisan families represented in the store today. After a lifelong dedication to Italian Arts and Culture, successfully establishing Biordi Art Imports as the premiere retailer for high quality, original Majolica in the United States, Gianfranco, retiring in 2018 has placed the future of Biordi in the hands of Michael and Deborah Baldini, ensuring that the Biordi legacy continues. Like Emilio Biordi in the past, you will many days find Gianfranco at the store, welcoming customer friends and visitors alike.
The Baldini Family is honored to lead Biordi Art Imports into the future! Gianfranco Savio and Emilio Biordi before him have built the Biordi brand into an internationally-renowned retail business. We have been so touched by your love for Biordi and your support for us as curators of the Biordi retail legacy. There is nothing better than hearing the oohh’s and ahhh’s as you are enveloped in the beauty of our featured Italian artisans' creations.
Long-time Biordi customers, we are the third Italian family to hold the Biordi passion for Italy and Italian majolica ceramics. Our Families, of Italian descent, are of the Earth - Agriculture and Viticulture. We have an appreciation of the Italian clay earth from which emerges Italian Majolica, Wine and Culinary delights, which soothe our soul, warm our hearts, and tease our sensibilities.
A visit to Italy - stepping through the open door of Biordi and strolling through our North Beach neighborhood, you will find yourself inquiring of your parents and checking family histories to confirm what you feel is true – “Sono Italiano!”
Biordi is about Family! Valerie Hall is one of the Family – joining us as partner and creative contributor, she is Italian in every way - passionate and welcoming!
Come in and say “Ciao, Ciao”, as you recognize the familiar faces of the knowledgeable and helpful team at Biordi and as you explore your inner Italian. We are grateful to our many employees that share our passion. We are also fortunate to have our family Janelle, Branden and Donatella join us in our business. They bring a wealth of experience and passion to the business.
In 2021, we celebrated a milestone, our 75th anniversary. On May 1st, 2021 we were honored by the City of San Francisco with BIORDI ART IMPORTS Day, commemorating our contributions to the city. We were also honored to be named a Legacy Business in San Francisco in 2021.
Our hopes are to increase the awareness of Biordi Art Imports to a broader audience ensuring that collectively we can sustainably support the incredible Italian artisan families that create the art Biordi presents, ensuring this centuries old handcrafted Art legacy continues for the generations to come.
Thank you for your enthusiasm and support! We look forward to meeting you soon when you are in North Beach of San Francisco! Grazie mille. A presto a Biordi Art Imports!
Gianfranco Savio, Michael and Deborah Baldini, Valeria Hall and Consul General Lorenzo Ortona celebrating the transition of Biordi Art Imports to the new owners.