1) When did you start loving pizza?
I was born and raised in Cagliari, Sardinia. Pizza was a staple food there and whenever I went out with friends it was an easy choice. I can still eat it daily without getting bored.
2) Should you describe yourself with a specific pizza, which one would you choose?
If I were a pizza, I would have to go for one with ham, a bit spicy and a bit different from usual, such as our Speck one, with tomato passata, mozzarella fior di latte from Campania, smoked ham from the Alps, ricotta cheese from Piedmont, a drizzle of honey and added walnuts… and a bit of chilly oil!
3) Tradition or innovation. Which one would you choose for your pizzas?
We tend to prefer Italian traditional recipes but our international clientele demands something different and we need to offer variety, including pepperoni sausage and jalapeño peppers or an element of customisation of the toppings at the point of sale.
4) Tell us about your pizzeria. How did it start? What are your plans for the future?
I lived in London for 13 years and by background I am a chartered engineer. Most days I went out for lunch, and soon realised something was missing. In London in 2009 there were about nine takeaway pizzerias of a decent quality. I was intrigued by the possibility of setting up a pizza business.
I soon came to the conclusion that it was a limited opportunity, as it couldn’t be scaled up the way it was currently being done. And so I set out to find a way to have a product which is as good as freshly made, but reheated. That way the pizza could be made in a central location and transported to nearby outlets, where it would be reheated and served.
I even went to a pizza making school in Italy and worked three months in a pizzeria al taglio to see if my idea could work in practice. In the mornings I made pizza, and in the afternoons I managed my projects.
And then there was the Executive MBA at the London Business School, one of the top business schools in the world, the business plan awards and then Pizza Rossa was born.
It’s early days but the plan is to run at least 12 outlets within five years. Franchising is an area we will be exploring once the module is up and running.
5) Which pizza do your customers prefer the most?
Jalapeños and spicy sausage is the bestseller… I am resisting to introducing pineapple but we are requested daily to sell it. It will be hard to keep saying no.
6) Have you ever thought to come back to Italy?
On holiday, yes!
It will be some time before I will consider living in Italy again. London is a beautiful place to live and raise children and give them more opportunities for the future than currently foreseeable in Italy.
Thanks to Pizza Rossa