Cinzia Long is a whirlwind. Growing up in the dramatic scenery of the Aosta Valley in the Italian Alps, she learned the secrets of Italian cuisine at her mother’s kitchen table. Her love of cheese began with Saturday trips to the local market, where a friendly stall-holder would sneak her a chunk of parmesan.
As well as food and wine she loves skiing and the outdoors, and graduated in Forestry and Environmental Science at the Università degli Studi di Torino.
It is Cinzia’s vision, drive and quest for perfection that shape Cuculo and its reputation.
In 2021 Cinzia passed the Italian Wine Scholar Guild Prep course with a 96% score.
Now an Italian national, James MacNay’s deep and enduring love of that country’s wine began in his twenties, when, as a walking tour guide, he organised winery visits for clients. This experience led James to build Cuculo’s extensive portfolio of single estate Italian wines.
A history and literature graduate and occasional actor, James never bores of talking and writing about wine and winemakers. Ever mindful that wine is about people, he organises guided and self-guided holiday itineraries in the Italian wine regions, in which his customers can get to know the inspirational personalities and places behind the labels.
James is WSET Level 3 qualified and currently undertaking the Italian Wine Scholar course.
Actor, watchmaker, butcher – more diverse a background than Andrew’s is hard to find. Andrew is the shop’s Assistant Manager and all-round fixer. Qualified to Level 3 in Food Safety, his particular responsibility is for the food safety systems which underpin the business. Andrew recently passed the Italian Wine Scholar Guild Prep course with flying colours.
Charlie, with his professional training as a saxophonist, adds to the eclecticism of the personalities who make up Cuculo. You can guess by the way he loves talking about food and wine, and his very specific knowledge of Italian cuisine, that one side of his family is from Piemonte. In early 2021, Charlie gained WSET Level 2 with distinction.
An artistic eye, Freya understands the importance of the aesthetics when looking after the chocolate selection – a role she undertakes with gusto alongside her studies at the local Community College.
Jackie is Mum to James, Mother-in-Law to Cinzia, Grandmother to Carlo, and loves working in the shop. She especially enjoys the products and the time with customers. Jackie also doubles as book-keeper, so she can’t say she’s not kept busy enough! Jackie recently passed the Italian Wine Scholar Guild Prep course with flying colours.
Carla hails from Gaeta, a beautiful coastal village between Roma and Napoli, where she spent many years running a popular central bar with her husband. A warm personality with a love of cooking, Carla has a singular ability to inspire the coffee machine to its greatest heights.
Carolyn has worked at Cuculo, in its various incarnations, for 40 years. She handles everything thrown at her with aplomb, and at the same time looks after a conveyor belt of children and grandchildren. Carolyn loves food in all its forms and keeps us all in line.