Like many others over the past eight years, Peter Mallard’s moment of clarity came as a byproduct of the global financial crisis. He created Sogni d’Oro, a bespoke shopping service for superyacht crew and owners, an interesting mixture of e-commerce and hands on shopping. Crew and/or owners simply select their favourite products online, add them to a list and they will be brought to the superyacht for a viewing and consultancy session.

Listening to captains bemoan the time taken for crew to acquire replacement (or new) items such as luxury cutlery, bespoke linens, glassware and so fourth, Mallard identified an opportunity. “To take a common example, having a refit in La Spezia, there is not much in the way of shops for the luxury provisioning of a superyacht. Crews have to travel to Milan, San Tropes and Antibes with no guarantee they will find the right products for the right prices. These trips can take days and yield poor results.”

Convenience and timesaving capabilities are central to Sogni d’Oro’s business model. Owners and/or chief stews can browse the catalogue of luxury brands, select the items of interest and Sogni d’Oro will arrange a convenient time to bring the samples on board. The list of luxury brands includes; Fortessa and Rosenthal dinnerware, Schott Zwiesel blown crystal stemware, Herilooms Linens and Robert Welch cutlery. Once the products have been selected, whether they be from one company or 20, delivery will be consolidated into a single shipment, with the team from Sogni d’Oro waiting at the yacht to unpack and ensure all products are up to scratch.

Fino by Zwiesel 1872

“Customers are not buying off the Internet. When they are deciding what to purchase they are looking at items on the dining table or elsewhere on the yacht, in situ. They can see and feel them, and make decisions based on experience”, continues Mallard. “When you buy off the Internet it can be deceiving; sizes, colours and qualities do not always translate from screen to table, bed or bar.”

Space management is fundamental to a smooth operation on board and, according to Mallard, the minutiae of the galley and the salon can be lost on retailers; measurements and specifications play second fiddle to the hard sale. Consultancy plays an important role in the Sogni d’Oro approach, which, with a founder of extensive maritime experience, aims to reduce the burden of minutiae, asking pertinent questions and tailoring the results to suit each yacht.

What Mallard believes sets Sogni d’Oro’s service apart is “the convenience, the ability to provide the service in one day.” “We are not telling owners what they should want; we are not sourcing items we think they should need,” he adds. “We are allowing the people we are supplying to make their own choices.”