With firm roots in the Melbourne music scene, it was job instability caused by Covid-19 that saw Brunswick residents Anna and Antonio pursue the creation of a brand-new seltzer company - Malocchio.
The word Malocchio has Italian origins, meaning the evil eye: the evil eye of envy, jealousy or just a bad look. It roots itself in superstition. However, when paired with what rock ‘n’ roll has claimed as its global hand gesture, people can protect themselves from the notion of Malocchio.
The idea for the seltzer company resides in just that, but the globally recognised rock ‘n’ roll symbol has more meaning for the pair than the superstition suggests.
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“For us it’s more about being proud of who you are and your creativity,” says Anna. “That means not letting the envy of others stop you from doing what you love. That’s how we align with it. The hand also protects you from the Malocchio, and its rock and roll, which we wanted to incorporate as we love our music.”
For both Anna and Antonio that superstition was very much a part of their upbringing, but the importance of the accompanying hand symbol has maintained significance particularly for Antonio for many years.
Having played in bands since he was 18, Antonio is still today largely involved in the Melbourne music scene – which is the demographic Malocchio are particularly looking to speak to through their seltzers.
“With our brand we wanted to create something that was for the alternative, creative culture and live music scene,” says Anna. “Something that would speak to that sort of crowd. There’s not really a lot of brands that do that and we wanted to have a brand that spoke to our people.”
And Malocchio are achieving just that. In 2022 they’ve paired up with three Melbourne bands, Among the Restless, The Miffs and The Maggie Pills to support the exposure that these bands are striving for through collaborative giveaways.
In a harmonious way, both Malocchio and the bands are benefitting from these collaborative giveaways. This is especially important in a paradigm where promotion and marketing is pinned unto artists themselves.
Community is paramount for Malocchio, who now find their three different and delicious seltzer flavours, Black Cherry, Finger Lime and Kakadu Plum stocked at a range of retailers, along with iconic and notable Melbourne music venues, such as The Bendigo Hotel, Daddy Bar, Fad Gallery, Loop Bar, Red Betty and Sugar Glider Bar.
“We’re getting involved in a lot more events now too,” says Anna. “People are seeing that we’re here to support the music and creative scene. We really want to be involved in helping the community out and that creative sector.”
Although it’s been a journey to reach the intended consumer group – with initial hesitation governing growth – their undying pursuit of support for the creative community has shone through in refreshing ways.
“Seltzers in general probably haven’t matched our demographic of people to start with,” says Anna. “But now they are trying it and we’ve been getting some amazing feedback. We were talking to the manager at the Bendigo recently and she was saying ‘these punks were in last weekend, and they absolutely loved our seltzers.’
For Anna and Antonio, anecdotes like this bring about boundless joy as they provide examples of exactly what the couple are setting out to achieve. For the pair who have designed their logo and website between the two of them, and run the business in a way that encapsulates the small and the local, Malocchio has the potential to be the drink that creatives in Melbourne have been waiting for. A drink that they can identify with, enjoy, but also connect with the owners of the brand.
“The artwork is as refreshing as the drinks,” says Antonio. “It’s something a bit different.”
Having already been involved in events such as Lastly store opening, Beinart Gallery exhibition openings, The Haunted at Red Velvet Underground and a Celebration of Chris Cornell at the Bendigo Hotel, Anna and Antonio are always on the look out for more opportunities to support local events ranging from fashion to live music and all the art that exists in between.
You can expect nothing short of a delicious libation and the unconditional support of the arts from Anna and Antonio at Malocchio.
This article was made in partnership with Malocchio.