Established by Alfredo Paulo Angelucci in 1929, Angelucci Coffee has now been a family-run business for three generations.
Alfredo started the coffee business, following a discussion with friends, who suggested that given his passion for coffee, he should work in the coffee trade. In 1929, Angelucci Coffee was born….
Alfredo created a unique coffee blend which he named Mokital®. Mokital® is our registered blend, which we continue to supply to our customers worldwide.
At this time, Soho, a vibrant multicultural (predominantly French and Italian) community, became an attractive hub for people to meet, socialise and drink coffee.
Below, is a picture of Alfredo inside our shop located at 23b Frith Street, Soho, London, W1. We remained at these nostalgic premises for 80 years.
Alfredo Angelucci, 23b Frith Street, Soho, London W1 – c1930s
In 1940, during WWII, whilst bringing up a young family in Muswell Hill, Alfredo was interned and ordered to board, along with other Italians, the SS Arandora Star, bound for Canada. The ship was torpedoed and sunk on the 2nd July 1940, off the west coast of Ireland. Of the 734 Italians on board, sadly 446 died, with Alfredo being amongst the survivors. Every anniversary, a Mass is held at St. Peter’s Italian Church, Clerkenwell Road, Holborn, to remember those who lost their lives.
Throughout the duration of the War, the coffee shop remained open and was managed by Alfredo’s wife Esterina, whilst Alfredo was interned in Scotland and then the Isle of Man. He returned to the shop when he was released, in 1944.
After such traumatic wartime experiences, Alfredo’s family and customers were so thankful to see his safe return. Post-war spirits were high, making Soho a wonderful place to meet new people and develop the business.
SS Arandora Star
Memorial to the dead of the SS Arandora Star at St Peter’s Italian Church, London
Omero Angelucci (Andy), in the late 1950s
Picture taken inside 23b Frith Street, Soho
Alfredo sadly passed away on 30th March 1951, aged 50, at which point his son Omero (known as Andy), aged 16 and daughter Francesca (known as Frances), aged 19, together with Esterina, managed the business.
In the early 1950s, the Bar Italia at 22 Frith Street, emerged as an iconic Italian Coffee Bar, featuring a wonderful original piston driven Gaggia machine. Having supplied Bar Italia with our coffee for over 70 years, we proudly continue to do so.
Mokital® soon became one of the leading coffee brands sold in restaurants and bars throughout Soho, the West End and City of London, including Spencer House, White’s Club, Wheelers Fish Restaurant chain, San Frediano, Chez Gerrard, Maison Berteaux, Pizza Express and Sticky Fingers.
Omero Angelucci (Andy), in the late 1950s
Picture taken inside 23b Frith Street, Soho
In 1978, Dire Straits released their first album ‘Dire Straits’. Mark Knopfler (lead guitarist/singer) requested our permission to use the Angelucci name in one of their iconic songs ‘Wild West End’. The opening lyrics being: ‘Stepping out to Angelucci’s for my coffee beans’.
As the years went by, Omero continued to expand the business with Francesca, to allow their mother Esterina to retire. Around this period, an array of people including film, arts, music, medical, military, political and judiciary clientele, visited the shop. Amongst them included Charles de Gaulle (former President of France), Winston Churchill’s son Randolph Churchill MBE, David Bowie and Mark Knopfler OBE.
Click here to listen to ‘Wild West End’ by Dire Straits
Francesca (Frances) Angelucci with her brother Omero in the background
Picture taken inside 23b Frith Street, Soho, in the mid 1970s. By permission of and with thanks to
The Museum of Soho
When Francesca sadly died in 1982, Catherine (Omero’s daughter) kindly supported her father, by working in the shop, whilst at the same time studying to become a Registered General Nurse (RGN), for the NHS, pending Alma (Francesca’s triplet) joining the business later that year.
Omero Angelucci, taken inside the shop in 1991
Alma Heath nee Angelucci, taken inside the shop in 1991
As you can see in these pictures, when entering the shop, you were surrounded by magnificent old coffee grinders, filters, jars, packages, pots and boxes. The tiny shop burst with 36 varieties of freshly ground coffee, hummed to the chatter of Italian and London voices and was often filled with customers, friends, family, coffee aficionados and passers-by. Our customers always commented on the wonderful aroma of coffee beans as they entered the shop and enjoyed the authentic ambiance that was maintained throughout the years.
In 1999, Omero’s son Jimmy joined the business, as a third generation Angelucci.
2000 to present day
Due to increased rents in Soho, which was greatly impacting independent businesses, we took the opportunity to relocate to East Finchley in 2009, from where we could also continue to supply our London based customers.
Omero Angelucci, 2010
472 Long Lane, East Finchley, London N2
Jimmy Angelucci, 2010
Omero led the business until he sadly passed away on 25th September 2015, at the age of 80. Jimmy together with Alma, then carried it forward.
At the end of 2019, Alma retired, at which point Jimmy took over the business, which he successfully manages from new premises in Sandy, Bedfordshire. This allows for easy access to our London based clients via the A1M Motorway.
Jimmy always ensures freshness and consistency of the Mokital® blend and a friendly, personal service.
Jimmy Angelucci, 2020, at new premises in Sandy, Bedfordshire
Georgina, Omero’s daughter, has been involved in the family coffee business from a young age.
In the mid-1970s, through to the mid-1980s, Georgina accompanied her father Omero on Saturdays and during school holidays to the shop, to learn the business. You can see her ‘Angelucci’ sign (hand made in the early 1980s) and the laminated pricing, adorning the shop walls, in the above photos of 23b Frith Street, Soho. These remained in situ, until we moved in 2009!
During this time, Georgina worked with a local designer, Mary Gorton of Mary Gorton Design, to redraw her grandfather Alfredo’s original Angelucci logo of the three cherubs. The cherubs represented his three children (see picture below), at the time of designing the logo (prior to the birth of his son Omero in 1934).
Alfredo Angelucci with his eldest son Domenico, Alma and Francesca, who were his inspiration for the design of the original label
(Photo taken c1933)
A re-design of the logo was required, as unfortunately, Alfredo’s original design printing plates were lost during wartime and the quality of subsequent versions were not of the same intricacy and standard.
Georgina spent many years trying to find the right artist/designer, who would portray the cherubs as her grandfather did. Mary’s creative thinking excelled the brief and the new logo was successfully implemented in 2008. The new design has been used in the business ever since. Our customers will also be familiar with a ‘Mokital®’ label designed by Omero’s friend Roger Squillario, which was used in the business. (See below for the old Angelucci label (based on the original), the Mokital® label designed by Roger and the new combined Angelucci Mokital® label). Also below, are pictures of an original, unopened Mokital® coffee tin (with key), dating back to the 1940s/1950s. The narrative on the tin includes Alfredo’s strapline, ‘A Morning Necessity, An Evening Pleasure’, which we continue to use.
THREE GENERATIONS OF ANGELUCCI COFFEE
Old label based on original design by Alfredo Angelucci
Label designed by Roger Squillario
New combined label re-designed in 2008, by Mary Gorton
An original, unopened Mokital® Coffee Tin
Continuing the family tradition and heritage of 93 years of coffee supply, we are proud to launch our new and improved website, including the opportunity to purchase online.
Jimmy will be managing coffee distribution, whilst Georgina will be managing the website and social media content.
We look forward to being of service to you and soon to be celebrating 100 years of Angelucci Coffee!
Alfredo was born in Castelforte, in the Lazio region of Italy, on the 25th January 1901. He was one of 13 children. He moved to England in his 20s, where he resided in Highbury, Islington, London.
Alfredo worked as a Commercial Artist in Heraldry (drawing Coats of Arms). Subsequently, he became an Import Merchant, as he had a love of antiques and fine furniture, which he imported from Italy and sold to high class retailers, including Maples of the West End.
Alfredo met his future wife, Esterina, at a wedding in Italy. They were married in 1927, in Muswell Hill, London. Together, they raised four children (see pictures below).
7th September 1938: Alfredo Angelucci and Esterina Angelucci, with their children Domenico, Alma, Omero and Francesca
Photo taken in 1939, whilst on holiday in Clacton-on-Sea, just before WW11 broke out.
Top, left to right: Rudolph Gallucci (Fuff), Olindo Gallucci, Antonia Cornelia Gallucci nee Maio and Esterina Anna Maria Angelucci, nee Gallucci
Bottom, left to right: Domenico Angelucci (Mimi), Alma Angelucci (triplet), Omero Angelucci (Andy) and Francesca Angelucci (Frances)(triplet)
(Alma & Francesca’s male triplet, sadly died at birth)
Esterina Angelucci nee Gallucci (wife of Alfredo)
Esterina, born 12th July 1902, came to England with her family in 1903. Prior to raising her family of four children (Domenico, Alma, Francesca & Omero), Esterina assisted her father in his tailor shop in Muswell Hill, where he produced bespoke, hand-made suits for Saville Row.
Whilst Alfredo was interned, Esterina took full responsibility for the day to day running of the coffee business, despite not having previously worked in the shop on her own. This was achieved during the Blitz of 1940-1941, when London was heavily bombed. The wailing of air raid sirens became a daily part of life and Esterina experienced walking through such air raids during intense bombing.
Esterina showed tremendous courage and bravery throughout this dangerous period, to maintain the business and serve our customers. Esterina was an extremely resilient lady and her hugely significant contribution to the family business will always be remembered.
Simultaneously, Esterina raised 4 small children, ably supported by her parents Cornelia and Olindo Gallucci.
Alfredo and Esterina c1949/50, in their garden in Muswell Hill, London
Francesca Angelucci (daughter of Alfredo & Esterina)
Francesca, born on 25th September 1931, was a very private person. She lived with and supported her mother Esterina, both at home and at the coffee shop, after the loss of her father Alfredo. Francesca enjoyed interacting with and serving our loyal client base. She sadly died on 26th August 1982, aged 50.
Francesca in her garden in Muswell Hill, London, during the 1950s
Domenico Angelucci (son of Alfredo & Esterina)
Domenico was born on 18th August 1928. A shy character, who married Victoria in Italy, where they raised two children Paulo and Francesca. Domenico was the only one of his siblings to return to live in Italy. He was highly educated, studied Ancient Italian History and was fluent in five languages. For his work, he was proud to be a Tour Guide throughout Italy and was also extremely delighted to have achieved the London Blue Badge Tour Guide qualification. Sadly he died aged 59.
Domenico (Mimi) with his brother Omero, pictured in Florence, Italy, during the 1960s
Omero Angelucci (son of Alfredo & Esterina)
Omero was born on 2nd December 1934. He married Jaqueline in June 1959. Together they raised a family of six children (Carolyn, Christina, Anthony, Catherine, Georgina and John James – known as Jimmy). Omero also had nine grandchildren which he adored.
Children of Omero and Jacqueline Angelucci, taken in the early 1990’s in Wimbledon, London
Left to right: Anthony, Christina, Catherine, Carolyn, Georgina and John James (Jimmy)
Omero was passionate about cars and in particular Fiats. He was a member of the Fiat Motor Club (GB), for most of his life. He restored many Fiats throughout his limited spare time and was extremely proud of his Fiat 500, for which he received a number of Car Show awards, including one presented to him by Sir Stirling Moss OBE. His white Fiat 500 was chosen to be used at Wembley Stadium, together with green and red Fiat 500s, to replicate the colours of the Italian flag. This was for the purpose of advertising a friendly football match between England and Italy, prior to the World Cup Italia ’90. Additionally, Omero’s Fiat 500 was chosen to be used at the Royal Albert Hall, for the launch of the new Fiat Cinquecento in December 1991.
Fiat 500 & Fiat 600, lovingly restored by Omero
Omero being presented with an award from the Fiat Motor Club (GB) for his prized Fiat 500, by Sir Stirling Moss OBE
Omero’s white Fiat 500, photographed on Wembley Way in 1989, beneath one of the original Twin Towers
Omero’s white Fiat 500, photographed inside the Stadium, ahead of the England v Italy friendly match in 1989
Omero also had a great interest in boats, which he shared with his close friend Michael. He maintained them and spent Sundays outboarding on the Thames and South Coast with friends and family. Additionally, he enjoyed building control-line model aircraft, with his son Anthony and used to fly them together at Scratchwood in Borehamwood. Anthony has kept the original ‘Mosquito’ plane they built together and continues to proudly display it on a wall at home.
Omero was truly a family man and established great friendships wherever he went, many of which he maintained throughout his life. He loved greeting customers as they entered the shop and built strong relationships with them throughout the years. Some of his time was spent out on the road, delivering fresh coffee directly to our customers, in his white Fiat van. As a young girl, when I accompanied my father on his rounds, his customers were always delighted to see him and welcomed him in with open arms. It was a pleasure to see such warmth and love between them. When Omero sadly died in 2015, we were contacted by so many of our wonderful and loyal customers, sharing their condolences and various stories of their happy times spent together in Soho, which was very heart-warming.
Control-line Mosquito, hand-built by Omero & Anthony during the 1980s
Alma married in 1957 and raised two children (Adrian and Deborah).
Alma with her daughter Deborah,
taken in March 2012
MA in Film and Television Arts
Alma started her career as an apprentice for Matilda Etches (British fashion/couturier/film and costume designer), from Matilda’s Atelier in Frith Street, Soho. She then moved on to work for Cox’s & King’s (Lloyds Banking Group) – Army Agents, of Pall Mall, London. When her children were small, Alma worked for Standard Telephones & Cables in New Southgate, then Sims Motor Unit, in their Accounts Department. Later, she joined Ind Coope in their Accounts Department, prior to joining the family business in the 1982.
Alma has been a member of her church choir for many years. She has also joined in many other choral singing choirs. Alma has a beautiful voice and sang solo at Omero & Jaqueline’s Wedding. Alma speaks fondly of her sister Francesca and describes her as being her “Angel on my shoulder”.
Alma and Francesca on holiday in Switzerland, during the 1950s
Alma and Francesca on holiday in Italy, during the 1950s
Alma is a kind and loving person, who always wears a smile. She loved interacting with our customers and sharing stories. Since retiring, Alma very much misses the social aspect of working in the shop and would like to extend her warmest wishes to you all.
John James (Jimmy) Angelucci (grandson of Alfredo & Esterina and son of Omero & Jacqueline)
When Jimmy left school in 1990, he joined Delta T, a Trace Heating Company, working within their stores/workshop. In 1997 he was made redundant and after a couple of years working in various roles, he joined the family coffee business in 1999.
Omero mentored Jimmy and over the years Jimmy took on more responsibility.
Like his father, Jimmy also has a passion for boats and outboard engines.
Georgina Parker nee Angelucci (granddaughter of Alfredo & Esterina and daughter of Omero & Jacqueline)
During my varied career to date, I have spent time working in Banking, Human Resources and Office Management. Throughout my career, I have continued to support the family coffee business and in recent months have designed and written the new Angelucci Coffee website.
In my spare time I love to travel with my family.
Photo with my father, taken inside 23b Frith Street, Soho, London W1, on 7th August 2007
‘A morning necessity ~ An evening pleasure’