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Duo Give up Jobs to Deliver Italy’s Pizza to Mumbai, Earn Rs 24 Lakh/12 months


    The story goes that in 1889, a baker by the title of Raffaele Esposito visited the quaint city of Naples, Italy, and needed to pay tribute to the royals and the current unification of the area. 

    So he determined to craft a pizza for King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy within the colors of the Italian flag — tomatoes for purple, mozzarella for white, and basil leaves for inexperienced. 

    Centuries later, this UNESCO-certified dish is arguably among the many most coveted forms of pizza, “as smooth and floppy as a basset hound’s ears” and as scrumptious as it’s intricate to make. 

    And it was this historical past that Ankith Suresh, a chef from Navi Mumbai, discovered himself fascinated with when he was working at a 5-star lodge in the course of the 2020 COVID lockdown. 

    Having spent a significant a part of his life within the meals trade, Ankith was no novice to cooking, however had by no means tried his hand at pizzas. “The artwork of constructing pizzas and getting artistic fascinated me. And extra so after I watched the movies of the Neapolitan pizza being made. I realised that the pizza tradition in India could be very totally different from the one which exists overseas,” he says. 

    Ankith Suresh and Priyanka Mandal, founders of The Mad Pepperoni, a pizza outlet serving authentic Neapolitan style pizza
    Ankith Suresh and Priyanka Mandal, Image credit: Ankith Suresh

    This realisation was adopted with a thought — “What if we have been to create these Neapolitan pizzas in Mumbai?” 

    In March 2021, Ankith determined to seek out out for himself. He launched Mad Pepperoni together with his pal Priyanka Mandal to serve genuine Neapolitan pizzas, abandoning his job to take action. Right this moment, the enterprise earns a mean turnover of Rs 24 lakh yearly, he notes. 

    A slice of previous Italy 

    When Ankith first learn in regards to the pizzas, he determined to attempt to recreate a less complicated model himself. When he shared it together with his associates, the response was unanimous — “It’s best to begin your individual pizza enterprise!” 

    Priyanka, working within the lodge trade on the time, was so taken up with the style that she requested Ankith if they may begin a pizza place of their very own. The duo started scouting rental locations and outlets seeking to arrange their pizza hangout. 

    “To make an genuine Neapolitan-style pizza, you want a woodfired oven, as temperatures soar to as excessive as 400 levels Celsius. We wanted to maintain this in thoughts as we have been testing areas,” Ankith explains. 

    As soon as they finalised the place, they started engaged on designing the place themselves, aiming for a “rustic” arrange with a stay kitchen, so hungry prospects might witness the magic themselves. “We didn’t desire a conventional restaurant arrange the place the hosts are in a separate area from the diners. We needed to create a ‘hangout’, the place we might chat with our company as they have been awaiting their orders, and the place they’d be capable of watch the pizza being made,” says Ankith. 

    He additionally remembers that once they tried to make the pizza for the primary time, it was a catastrophe. 

    “It was nothing like we’d seen within the photos. The pizza was flat, the flour wasn’t proper…We have been pressured as a result of we’d left our jobs, didn’t have a supply of earnings, and had invested all our financial savings into this enterprise. The dream wasn’t something near what we had imagined. So we spent the following 5 months engaged on our errors, watching detailed movies, researching articles that spoke about this fashion of pizza, and eventually, have been in a position to get issues proper.” 

    Wood fire Neapolitan style pizza at The Mad Pepperoni
    Wooden fireplace Neapolitan fashion pizza, Image credit: Ankith Suresh

    Elaborating on the most evident problem, Ankith says it was “the shortage of Italian flour”. “Importing was figuring out to be costly and the protein content material of Indian flour is much less.”

    “We employed a vendor to seek out the proper wheat and get a ratio that might suffice for the pizza. We then labored on the look of the pizza, as the perimeters of a Neapolitan-style pizza needs to be puffy,” says Ankith. “By these months, I understood pizza making on a scientific degree.” 

    For sure, success was inevitable, and in the present day, the duo serve round 50 orders on a regular basis. 

    Priyanka says, “As soon as we took the step to enter this area, each problem turned enjoyable. The appreciation we obtain from our prospects is overwhelming, a sense you’ll seldom get at a daily job.”

    Right here’s the place you’ll be able to seize your slice of Italy.