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Meet Wendy Stephen and Salvatore Cisaria of Salvatore Espresso Systems

Today we’d like to introduce you to Wendy Stephen and Salvatore Cisaria.

Wendy and Salvatore, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Salvatore grew up in his uncle’s coffee shop in Ostuni, in southern Italy; the shop has been operated by three generations and is still there (Cafe Trieste) in the main square and is run by his cousin. The first time Salvatore went to the coffee shop, he was four or five years old and went every day after school. When he left school years later, he did a lot of plumbing, metal work and electric work at 18 he went into the army for a year and a half as is required in Italy.

After the army, he went to Florence, and there he learned the art of tool and die making, creating bigiotteria he did this for ten years. He met many Californians in Florence and heard great stories of California. He started to take English Classes and then immigrated to the United States. Salvatore left Italy for California in 1984 and began selling and repairing espresso machines.

In 1993, he began building his own machines in Santa Barbara just like Ferragamo did with his shoes. Inspired by the fact that there were no quality commercial type espresso machines for home use. Salvatore’s designs range from simple stainless basic designs to custom one of a kind using metals such as copper and brass. You can see many of them on the website.

Polished brass or gold; one looks like a wine barrel, and another is a tribute to Ferrari race cars.
* Each design has a serial number and is personalized with the customer’s name and date
* Some components come from Italy like the brew group and chromed steam and hot water
wands but Salvatore makes the entire rest of the machine. He machined other accessories like
tampers in brass and aluminum.
* The copper for the boiler is cut on the band saw then brazed with brass that has been machined
on a lathe.
*Salvatore cuts, bends, and welds every frame which the machine is built on
* Salvatore also makes Grinders

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been a wonderful adventure, and my customers are all very special to me.

Salvatore Espresso Systems Inc. – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I do a lot of business across the United States and ship to other countries as well.

Customers come visit my company to see what I make and to visit the showroom to get ideas of what they would like for their home or office. We do training and demos in the showroom as well, it is my delight when I help people choose what they want handcrafted.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I have had so many happy customers, so that pleases me very much and it is very rewarding to handcraft beautiful, functional works of art that people use every day with enjoyment.


  • My machines start at $1950 for the smallest machine I call THE CLUB
  • The standard size are SEMI AUTOMATICS and AUTOMATICS and E61 GROUPS Range $2500 +
  • SPRING LEVER MACHINES (the best seller) start at $2600 +

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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