The first 100 years of Balma, Capoduri

The first 100 years of Balma, Capoduri

The important anniversary of a company that has gone down in history with products that are now considered true icons, such as the legendary Coccoina glue

Balma, Capoduri celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. It was founded in 1924 by Aldo Balma, a person full of ideas and projects, and Andrea Capoduri, a businessman ready to take them up and invest in new initiatives. A story made up of people who have put their technical and professional skills, but above all their human qualities, at the service of the company.


Here is our interview with Aldo Balma, engineer, Managing Director of Balma, Capoduri & C.


How was Balma, Capoduri & C founded, how did it develop and what were the key milestones in these first 100 years of yours? 


In a century of history our company has reached many milestones, including iconic, innovative products, technologies, research, prizes, awards, new spaces and great success. Here are our company's most significant dates:


1924 The Company was founded, presenting its first product, the 'Zenith' tray for copying letters, with its accessories, at the Milan Trade Fair.

1926  The first models of staplers and staples were created, named ‘Zenith’.

1927  'Coccoina', the now legendary white, everyday office glue with an unmistakable almond scent, was launched.

1935 The first 'Zenith 507' plier stapler was designed.

1947 The 'Zenith d'Oro' award for employees was established

1948 The new 'Zenith' 548 stapler, was launched. It has been the flagship of the product range ever since. In 1954 it received an honourable mention at the La Rinascente Compasso D’Oro.

1959 A new success... The 'Zenith 580’ staple remover was created. It still stands out today for its practicality and reliability.

1974 Work began on the first warehouse of the new plant, also in Voghera, overlooking the Turin-Piacenza motorway.

1984 ‘Coccoina' also became liquid, with the introduction of 'Coccoina 84' liquid glue.

1990 Launch of the new 'Zenith 590’ stapler: easy to operate and lightweight, it can hold no less than 200 staples.

1998 Balma, Capoduri is online. The company website went live, telling the story of the Company with its various facets.

1999 Work began on the completion of the new plant, with an extension of 12,000 square metres

2006 The 'Coccoina' family was enriched by the stick format, always with its unmistakable almond scent.

2010 A new office building was built adjacent to the plant.

2011 The 'Made in Italy' mark was created, and would be applied to the packaging of all 'Zenith' and 'Coccoina' products.

2018 The showroom was opened with an adjoining museum area featuring a rich selection of the Company’s products, from its beginnings to the present day.

2024 In its centenary year, the 'Zenith' and 'Coccoina' brands are recognised as historical trademarks.



The iconic Coccoina glue will celebrate a milestone anniversary in three years' time. What led you to your great success?


We launched our 'Coccoina' paste in 1927, based on an idea of Aldo Balma, who developed the formula, studied the packaging and decided to add the characteristic almond scent.


Its success is surely due to that iconic aluminium can that has only undergone minor modifications throughout history. Its natural, solvent-free composition based on potato starch dextrin played a decisive role. The 'Coccoina' range has expanded over the years, from liquid glues to sticks and then vinyl. All solvent-free and almond-scented.


The newest entry is 'eCoccoina', the greenest glue yet, containing more than 80% natural ingredients and a tube made 70% from sugar cane.



What markets are you most interested in and which ones are you currently developing?


Our historical sales channel is office supplies and stationery, so our customer base is made up of office supply providers, wholesalers, stationers, large retailers and e-commerce.


For some years now, thanks to the expansion of our range, we have been entering new markets, such as gift, design, museum sales, etc., with good results. We are set on growing, especially abroad; We are developing many new contacts in the Far East, where the quality of Made in Italy is highly appreciated. In the United States too, demand is increasing for our staplers due to their design, finishes and the latest 'premium' packaging.



 Are you thinking about any new products?


Our quest to find new products is ongoing; 2023 saw the completion of the Gold line, intended for the gift channel, which features exquisite 24K gold finishes.


A few months ago, we successfully introduced the 'Coccoina' scented candle. Our historic tin is re-proposed in a new, even more appealing guise, but retains its same unmistakable fragrance.


And how could we forget our 100th anniversary? We have just released the 'Zenith 548/E Century’ stapler, a self-celebrating limited edition design.



What innovations will you unveil in January 2025 at Milano Home?


In Milan Home we will definitely have some news. Some are already at the prototyping stage, while others are still on the drawing board.