The company was founded in 1957 by Felice De Martini.
In those early days its main concern was the on-board maintenance of coffee machines, dish washers and other food service equipment for the galleys, bars and pantries of ships in the port of Genoa. The company also supplied and installed ready made equipment.
In 1966 Gaioni moved to Genoa-Sestri. Here it began its own production of ranges, kettles, griddles, fridges and many other kinds of stainless steel equipment for all ships.
A contract was signed with what was then Italcantieri, and their vessels in various different shipyards were fitted with our ranges, kettles, griddles and fridges. This convention lasted for more than 15 years.
At the beginning of the seventies, Gaioni participated in the great conversion project of the Sitmar sister ships Fairsea and Fairwind in the Arsenale Triestino shipyard in Trieste.
This was the company’s first experience of the American USPHS regulatory standards established for passenger ships operating in the USA.
In 1974 the company established new premises in Genoa – Ceranesi, acquiring modern machinery and employing new staff. This enabled it to take advantage of the increasing needs of the shipbuilding market, especially in the military sector where numerous new ships were under construction, destined for the Italian navy and overseas (Peru, Venezuela, Libya, Ecuador, Iraq etc.).
In 1976 Gaioni increased its productive capacity through the acquisition of Soget (in Ivrea, near Turin), of which Roberto De Martini was consequently elected general manager. Meanwhile, his brother Gianni continued to work with their father in Genoa.
In the 1980s, while business in the military sector was beginning to slow down, construction of cruise ships throughout various European shipyards started, a trend which has continued through to the present day.
Gaioni was amongst the first companies to take advantage of these market changes and become involved in this sector, successfully participating in new constructions carried out at Chantiers du Nord de la Mediterranèe in La Seyne sur Mer (1981 – 1983), Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Kockum in Malmoe and Wartsila in Helsinki (1983 – 1988).
Through the experience gained in those years, the company acquired an extensive knowledge of the USPHS standards, leading not only to the successful realisation of products with innovative technical characteristics but also new, invaluable knowledge relating to the on-board installation of the equipment itself.
These techniques are still in use today.