Let’s start from the very beginning:

Bono (pl. boni) informal ● adjective – 1. of a person: beautiful, good-looking, sexy, hot; 2. of food: tasty, delicious, good to eat ● noun – someone beautiful, good-looking, sexy, hot

In our case, BONO is a love story with many layers and few degrees of separation.

BONO is four letters, four people who are very different from each other but deep down the same, united by a common denominator of love, passion, curiosity, enthusiasm and a desire to rise to the challenge. And even a touch of madness.

BONO is Irene Di Meo, Leonardo Rindone, Paolo Iannace and Sara Carenzi. In strictly alphabetical order, of course.

We like to think of ourselves as dazzling 40-somethings, boni inside and out. Except for Sara who, while definitely bona inside and out, is a dazzling 30-something.

We could go into the nitty gritty of how we met and how our plans got off the ground, but that would take too long, so we’d prefer to tell you in Sara’s words: part fairy tale, part gossip, part stream of consciousness.

Here’s our story.

Irene loves Leo, Sara is Irene‘s friend, Paolo has known Leo for ages for reasons of work, but takes a shine to Irene‘s creative vision.

Sara and Paolo find out they have the same star sign.

Leo is Irene‘s bono. She is an anthropologist and DJ, whilst Sara is a set designer and Paolo is a serious-minded accountant with a passion for sailing on Lake Garda.

The story begins when Irene, a well-known foodie and mother of three Anglo-Roman children, falls in love with a master olive oil producer and motorcyclist from northern Italy, but not too far north. He’s very tall, curly-haired and incredibly handsome, so much so that he’s normally referred to as that hot guy (Bono in Italian) whose going out with Clash (Irene‘s alias).

From the kitchen of Cenerentola Pret a Manger, her little restaurant in Turin, Sara follows in her friend’s footsteps, convinced that a joy shared is a joy multiplied. Sara the chef, who has a new love interest who’s not from Turin, wonders whether or not she should throw caution to the wind in order to follow this passion. Meanwhile, Ireneand Leo, start thinking about a future far away from Italy and about working together, but they are not yet sure what shape this will take.

Sara, Irene and Leo tell each other about their intentions and, in countless shared messages, decide that they want to produce extra virgin olive oil based on the concept of taste rather than geography; they want to stay in Italy; they have more ideas than resources; and they have a brand under their very noses, written up there in block capitals. We can all see the idea, right? And that’s how BONO was conceived.

Leo has a brilliant accountant, who is ultra-reliable, professional and also a friend. Irene, a one-time Empress and well-known for that rare gift of telling a good story, sits down with Paolo and explains this great idea, born out of human relationships, in an attempt to find a way of raising the ready cash to bring this madcap exploit to fruition. We still don’t know whether Paolo was stunned by the 7,000 words a minute, but we strongly believe he must have been, as under his collar and tie lies a visionary nature and he decided to become our financial backer. So, as well as BONO, we also have our very own superhero, riding on his very own chariot.

Thus, taking on a life of its own, BONO Srl was born.

An office overlooking olive trees and an olive oil mill serves as our headquarters. In addition to being an office, it’s also a kitchen and a melting pot for recipes where olive oil is deemed to be a superfood. BONO is a creative hub, a gastronomic arena where nuances of flavour blend with the desire to live out an enjoyable existence, constantly in motion.

BONO is a story of love and of refusing to give up our way of life.
Irene is incapable of reining in her visionary ideas and love of words, as she fills up the office with vinyl records, novels, art books, sofas, armchairs and coffee tables.
Leo can’t refrain from poking his nose and palate into new varieties and conjuring up new flavours.
Sara can’t imagine a world without at least five meals a day, in which each dish tells a story.
Paolo can’t help keeping tabs on figures and regulations, as he’s a methodical and farsighted dreamer. It’s thanks to him that Irene and Sara’s feet occasionally touch the ground, but above all that most of the time they are left to graze happily in their grand new meadow of ideas.
BONO is a creative cooperative, “soon to become a commune!” says Irene.