The Caccivio family originally comes from Italy, more precisely, from Saltrio near Varese. Around the turn of the century (approx. 1898), Enrico Caccivio (1879 - 1950), the great-grandfather of the current owner, immigrated to Switzerland as a stone carver. He worked in the limestone quarry of Péry-Reuchenette (Ciment Vigier, founded in 1890) and lived in St. Imier. He married a Jurassian (Marie Caccivio–Donzé) from Tramelan and had three children, one daughter and two sons: Lucie, Marius and Henri.
The Caccivio stone sculpture workshop was founded in 1951 by Henri (1907-1988) and his son André Caccivio (b. 1935) in Täuffelen. The following is an excerpt from André Caccivio’s report in April 2011 on the occasion of an outing to the famous quarries in Andeer in the Canton of Grisons for the company’s anniversary:
‘Around 1950, I lived in Givisiez near Fribourg with my parents. My father, Henri Caccivio, was a foreman at a large tombstone business. Even today, one can certainly still find some of his Carrara marble statues. At age 16, I also wanted to learn this wonderful profession, but unfortunately there were no vacancies for an apprenticeship in the region. Therefore, the idea was born, to start our own business; a father with his son as an apprentice! My mother, Margrit Caccivio-Schwab, was a Seeland region native from Siselen, and maybe she was the one who set the course for Täuffelen.
The company was established on 1 March 1951 with financial assistance from a friend from St. Imier, the place where my father Henri grew up with his Italian parents. The workshop was located in a car garage in the lower part of the village of Täuffelen, next to the former Rössli restaurant. No running water, no heating, neither electric hammers nor pneumatic tools, no phone, no car...
Henri Caccivio, 1948
Henri Caccivio was an outstanding sculptor, but the business world, i.e. office work, sales and purchases, was not his world. Furthermore, he “only” spoke French and Italian, but Täuffelen, as you know, is located in the German-speaking part of the Canton of Bern. So it was my turn – at age 15 I went to visit customers for the first time. In the first year, I managed to sell five (!) tombstones. Sales were difficult in the beginning: the competition was overpowering. My father and I visited potential customers in Seeland by bike – the ride home was sometimes happy and sometimes sad. An additional way to generate income at the time was the production of garden gnomes, cast in plaster and beautifully painted!
Tombstones were installed and raw materials picked up (at the BTI station in Täuffelen) in cooperation with Paul Droz and his horse and carriage during these first years. Then came the time with the “Opel Bedford” of Otti Weber and his wife, including great support from my uncle, Gottfried Schwab. Laubscher Décolletage assisted us with their lift truck.
Our active participation in the Täuffelen Music Society resulted in many good contacts and friendships. When I turned 18, the tedious sales process by bike came to an end. In 1953 I got my driver’s license, and the acquisition of my first VW Beetle became a reality!
The studio was becoming increasingly widely known throughout the Seeland region; we had more and more work and thus also more and more joy. The idea to build our own studio became stronger and stronger. This desire was realized in 1953 at Baumgartenstrasse 18 in Täuffelen, which, to this day, is the business address and production site of Atelier Caccivio. In 1970, Henri transferred the business to me. My wife, Marianne Caccivio–Baumann, was a valuable pillar of the company for decades – after all, she was responsible for the accounting and for managing the office during this time.
In 1985, a third generation joined the company – our son Michel. Continuous development in various fields was of great importance to us throughout all these years. Powerful air compressors, professional power tools, electronic data processing systems, etc. were a “must” in order to be able to sustain the company in a constantly changing economic environment.
In 1996, we transferred the business to our son Michel, who was able to continue to rely on an experienced team. Long-time employees stayed loyal to the company, new employees have integrated well into today’s Atelier Caccivio, and we parents can still be found in the shop almost every day!’