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Four Plus Fan Stories #1: An Adventure In Italy

I love hearing from our customers.  Whether they have a question about placing an order, suggesting new flavors, or just sending a quick note to say how much they enjoy our granola, I always take something positive away from these interactions.  Every once in a while, though, I hear a story that really stands out from the rest and makes me smile.  The story I’m going to share here is one of those. 

For some context, one of our loyal customers reached out recently about getting a large order sent to Italy, where he is spending the remainder of this year.  We’ve processed a handful of international orders in the past, so I assured him it’s an easy process and that we’d be able to get him the granola in no time at all.  After confirming the order details with him, I packed the box, dropped it off at FedEx, and notified him that he could expect to receive it in the next 2-5 business days.  Below is his telling of the adventure he went through to get his package once it arrived in Italy.  Spoiler Alert: It has a happy ending!

On September 28th I received an email from customs in Milan informing me that my package was being held and required additional documentation. I spoke with a customs agent who questioned me about the amount of food being shipped and asked for confirmation that this was for personal use. Clearly, the number of packages made them question my intentions.  

I assured her that 25 bags of granola was for personal use (it even sounds crazy to me) and then had to fill out several forms and provide a copy of my passport, which I did that weekend. There was a fee for the “sanitary procedure”. I submitted all forms and paid the fee electronically. Sara, from customs, had kindly translated the required fields into English for me! 

Then I waited. Days passed. I ate lousy Italian croissants (which seems to be the standard breakfast here) and even endured some supermarket “granola” so I could make it through each morning, trusting that my golden Nutty was on its way.

On Friday, Oct 5th a courier had visited! But alas, just as in the USA, delivery persons only come to your door when you are not home. (Clearly, this is a global problem.) 

This morning (Monday Oct 8th) I got right to work at 9am, tracking my package and attempting to request a second delivery attempt. The Italian delivery site was impenetrable. The code on the delivery ticket didn’t work. I got discouraged and decided, after an hour of failure, to leave the apartment and get a coffee. (Coffee is one thing you can depend on in Italy.)  

As I returned home, I spotted a delivery bicycle leaving my block. Sure enough, there was another delivery ticket in the mailbox!! I hoped on my bike and made chase. 

Four Plus Granola Italy BikeA few minutes later I found her pedaling through the neighborhood. I pulled along side and explained, in my insufficient Italian, that I had been expecting a package, while I waved the delivery note at her. She was pleased to find me and produced my goods, but first there was the delivery fee - to be paid in cash or check - right there in the middle of Corso Milano. I had just enough cash on me. 

 

Thanks again. And thanks for the bonus mini-packs. The take-aways are: 

Fewer packages may have been a better choice.  

Italy has very strict rules about international food deliveries.  

There is nothing remotely like Kelly’s granola to be found here. 

Tomorrow’s breakfast will be the best ever.  

 

Every so often, we'll be sharing stories from our customers right here on our blog!  So if you have any stories that involve Four Plus Granola, we want to hear them!  Just shoot me an e-mail at will.kelly@kellysfourplus.com.


4 comments

  • Lovely news from my son in Italy,he is special! Ciao Christian!

    Nick Cervegnano
  • Thanks for the comments Cody and Martha, I had no idea this was such a common issue!! We would love to sell in Italy and avoid these issues altogether, but until then, if you want to ship any granola overseas, shoot me an email and we’ll figure it out!

    - Will

    Will Kelly
  • This is a common burden indeed; Italian customs halt incoming deliveries and usually slap on most dispatches large levies. Nevertheless, last time I was in Italy, I thought I’d find adequate granola, and thus didn’t think I’d need to send Four Plus Granola. I was mistaken: even during a week’s sojourn, I missed my daily intake (large) of this invaluable granola. I therefore join Martha von Gutenberg’s appeal to Four Plus Granola to start selling internationally!

    Cody Franchetti
  • We lived in Italy from 1963 to 1976, and this fun story is typical!!! I remember when I was trying to send a package home to the U.S. from our little town of Lesmo (suburb of Milano) the postal person seemed very flustered and didn’t quite know what to do. And when I send my daughter in Milan something I always pray it will get there, as sometimes they steal the package, unless you use something like DSL, or signature required, etc. Thanks again for a great product!!! Maybe they’ll start selling it in Italy, too!

    Martha von Guggenberg

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