Howzat? Not out is the answer as Toni Martello’s 41-year innings continues in style

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

My 36 years in travel retail make me a mere industry apprentice compared to Toni (Maria Antonietta) Martello, Founder and Executive Director at Azzurra One Enterprise, a hugely admired travel retail staffing, promotional and marketing services agency in Sydney, Australia.

This month marks the 41st anniversary since Toni created Azzurra One, initially employing two staff to sell cigarettes at Sydney Airport, later adding wines & spirits, wellness and confectionery products to the portfolio.

Over the ensuing years, Azzurra One grew to providing over 50 promotional and marketing services across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth Airports in Australian and Auckland Airport in New Zealand.

“How’s that for an 18 year old Italian woman who arrived in Australia nine years earlier with no work experience or knowledge of the English language?” as Toni put it on LinkedIn recently.

As she recalls, the early days of the business were a time when racism, being groped and propositioned daily, and other forms of workplace harassment were the norm, particularly given the attire the team was required to wear to represent clients.

Fortunately those days have long passed but Toni has had to overcome many subsequent challenges, none more so than the devastating human and commercial impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

Hit as if by a runaway train by the pandemic, which saw Australia’s borders closed for two years, Azzurra One has recovered strongly as the region’s rapid travel rebound accelerates.

Last year the company was incorporated across the Tasman in New Zealand, and Toni commenced operations at Auckland Airport. Numerous other developments are in the pipeline as this outstanding business, led by such an extraordinary entrepreneur, bounces back in style.

Once I read Toni’s story on LinkedIn, I wanted to know more. Look out for my interview with her on our main website, coming soon. It will be a corker.

How’s that? Or ‘howzat’ in the parlance of the nation’s famous men’s and women’s cricketers? After a 41-year success story, the answer is very much ‘not out’ as Toni continues her outstanding travel retail innings.

It’s an innings I look very much forward to commentating on. Watch this space.