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Duo Stop Jobs to Carry Italy’s Pizza to Mumbai, Earn Rs 24 Lakh/Yr

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 latest 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 crimson, mozzarella for white, and basil leaves for inexperienced. 

Centuries later, this UNESCO-certified dish is arguably among the many most coveted kinds of pizza, “as mushy 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 resort in the course of the 2020 COVID lockdown. 

Having spent a serious 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 inventive fascinated me. And extra so once I watched the movies of the Neapolitan pizza being made. I realised that the pizza tradition in India could be very completely 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 had been to create these Neapolitan pizzas in Mumbai?” 

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

A slice of outdated Italy 

When Ankith first learn in regards to the pizzas, he determined to attempt to recreate an easier model himself. When he shared it along with his buddies, the response was unanimous — “It is best to begin your individual pizza enterprise!” 

Priyanka, working within the resort 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 retailers trying 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 would have liked to maintain this in thoughts as we had 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 dwell kitchen, so hungry clients might witness the magic themselves. “We didn’t need 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 had been awaiting their orders, and the place they’d have the ability to watch the pizza being made,” says Ankith. 

He additionally recollects that after 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 had been careworn 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 type of pizza, and eventually, had been in a position to get issues proper.” 

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

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

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

For sure, success was inevitable, and right this moment, 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 clients is overwhelming, a sense you’ll seldom get at an everyday job.”

Right here’s the place you may seize your slice of Italy. 



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