My factory is a museum dedicated to The Maestro; Firm's HQ collection betrays boss' devotion to Hollywood legend.
TO THE thousands of motorists who pass it every day, there's nothing remarkable about Kapak Foods' St Helens factory.
But the nine-acre site hides an incredible and impressive Hollywood secret. Every wall, shelf and even the music playing over the speakers is dedicated to legendary film composer Ennio Morricone.
The offices bear his name - suppliers and clients are shown to the Ennio Morricone suite - and even the company's website references his inspiration: "His creative musical compositions come together with perfect orchestration just like Kapak, we work in perfect harmony with our customers to achieve perfect masterpieces," it says.
Keith Brewood, CEO of the manufacturing and packaging firm, is the proud owner of the UK's largest museum of rare memorabilia dedicated to the man he calls The Maestro. He has been a passionate follower of Morricone's music and everything associated with it for more than 50 years, since he first heard it as a boy watching the Clint Eastwood spaghetti western, A Fistful of Dollars.
"I started when I was about 10, when my parents decided to go away for a week and have my older sister look after me," he remembers.
"She and her boyfriend, who is now her husband, wanted to go and see an Italian western. I didn't know what I was going to see but when the film came on I just fell in love with the music." From then on, he became a devoted fan, amassing collectibles over five decades from all round the world.
"I play it in Africa, America, everywhere I go," smiles Keith.
"And every morning I play the same piece, the Ecstasy of Gold, to set me off in a fantastic mood."
Now 61, he studied food engineering and technology and started Kapak Foods 17 years ago. They blend food and package it for mainstream big brands, supermarket labels and their own Just Foods brand.
Latest news more. it happens www.liverpoolecho.echolive Two years ago, the company moved to its current 80,000sqft factory near the Dream statue, in St Helens, and Keith found a new home for many of his prized possessions.
"In total, I've probably got 700 items - all his CDs, LPs, DVDs, music from films, posters, memorabilia, photos and signed things he's given to me personally," he explains.
"The one I cherish most is one he autographed from the film, The Good The Bad and The Ugly, because he never signs autographs normally and he wrote a personal message on this one. That's framed and hanging in the Ennio Morricone suite.
"I don't have enough walls and cupboards to have everything on show, but there's still enough to give it the wow factor," says Keith.
Several priceless pieces in the collection have been given personally to Keith by Ennio.
The pair first met in Rome when the multi award-winning 86-yearold composer, who has worked with everyone from Richard Burton and Robert De Niro to Quentin Tarantino and Brad Pitt, took him for Sunday lunch.
"He was amazed by my collection, and that there are people out there who enjoy his music so much. He's a very shy, unassuming man. I went to one concert - I've been to about 35 over the years - and he was backstage handing round a plate of sandwiches and napkins!" Keith adds that his childhood hero has now become a friend.
and. . as happens "He calls me his twin, which is a bit cheeky because he's only about 5ft4 and I'm 6ft2," laughs Keith.
co.uk/ "Whenever I go to one of his concerts, he waits backstage with his wife, Maria, and gives me a big hug and a kiss, and if he's not too tired he invites me to join them for a private dinner. They say I'm a part of his extended family now."
Keith is always on the look-out for unique items to add to his collection.
Top of his wish list is music from a Dutch TV series called The Memories of Anne Frank.
"It was only shown in The Netherlands and Italy, and never put on CD, but there are some master tapes somewhere so if someone could put them on a CD that would be wonderful.
"If anybody's got it on Merseyside, please give me a ring."
| Kapak Foods CEO Keith Brewood | |with his hero, the composer Ennio Morricone; and, below, shelves at the factory packed with Ennio Morricone CDs, DVDs and LPs
| Kapak Foods' CEO, Keith Brewood, | |with some of his collection of Ennio Morricone memorabilia