Italian heart and taste
Is it possible to create a fast-food concept based on tradition and quality? Alfiero Fucelli did it with his Dispensa Emilia. Modern restaurants, fast and efficient service and a maniacal attention to the quality of the food.
Studies in the United States and years of experience in restaurant chains, first as a manager and later as an entrepreneur. Then the idea of creating an innovative concept of “Fast” but also of quality. “Our goal is to do few things but do them very well, with care and passion.” Alfiero Fucelli now proudly manages “Dispensa Emilia,” a chain of 15 restaurants, of which he is the founder and managing director. His formula combines the Emilian tradition of tigelle and typical first courses of the region with the convenience of a comfortable and quick meal. An easy-chic atmosphere with a particular attention to the environment.
Alfiero grew up in Rome, emigrated to the USA for 8 years where he studied engineering and computer science and then returned to Italy to take on hamburger franchising. “I advanced my career up to becoming general manager, and then the company, which was doing very well, was sold to McDonald’s. Shortly afterwards I chose to be an entrepreneur and starting with “Tipico”, we made home-delivery pizza. And in this case, the brand also grew very quickly,” Alfiero explains, “and we ended up with 45 restaurants.” After that experience, the time came to be inspired by new ideas. “Instead of importing an American food concept, I decided to create a restaurant closely tied to the region.”
And the region in question was Emilia, where Alfiero had been living for 15 years after his return from the States. That led to the creation of Dispensa Emilia, based on a restaurant concept anchored in the tradition of Emilia but with fast service. Dishes with the quality, flavour and attention of a real restaurant - tigelle, pastas, salads, and Lambrusco - in a more modern context. The name tigelle comes from the terracotta discs on which the dough was originally cooked. The flower of life, an ancient symbol of fertility, was imprinted on these discs and is now an integral part of the company’s logo. “Instead of having the customer come to the hills, where they normally eat these typical foods, we went to the consumer. We chose places with steady crowds to open the restaurants, such as shopping malls, train stations, and access roads to the cities. Today we are in Bologna, Modena, Milan and Florence.”
In the premises, created in the minds of Alfiero and co-founders Daniele Fiorentini and Riccardo Beneventi, the customer finds traditional food prepared with great care and always in full view, plus warm and attentive service and a welcoming environment in interiors with natural elements, such as small vertical gardens that emerge from the wood-panelled walls. This is matched by a basic, simple menu. “For our customers, we approach service in two stages: the first part is the order made directly at the checkout without going through a waiter, and then you are served at the table like in a normal restaurant.”
"Instead of importing an American food concept, I decided to create a restaurant closely tied to the region."
“We met Aba on the occasion of our first restaurant in Casalecchio di Reno. We needed a job done very quickly. A mutual friend - our lighting supplier - told us about the professionalism of the company so we met Roberto. We signed the contract in October and in mid-December we opened the first restaurant. Aba provides solid results that last over time. Our need was to have furnishings that made an impact, because the first Dispensa Emilia was established inside the Casalecchio shopping mall.” The ideas of Alfiero and Daniele, combined with the experience of Roberto, resulted in a blend of design and functionality that distinguishes the concept of Emilia, ideal for attracting the attention of people shopping in the mall. “Our relationship with Aba’s team? We have always found Roberto, Maura and other collaborators to be professional and helpful interlocutors who, right from the beginning, entered the project understanding its aims. The first 10 restaurants have been entirely the work of Aba, from the design to setting up of the restaurant. And even though there was outside collaboration for the latest locales due to the large amount of work and a restyling of the image, we have never given up our splendid and solid collaboration with Aba.”
› Dispensa Emilia | Arese (MI)
› Dispensa Emilia | Sede | Modena
› Dispensa Emilia | I Gigli| Campi Bisenzio (FI)
› Dispensa Emilia | I Petali| Reggio Emilia
› Dispensa Emilia | Stazione Centrale Bologna
› Dispensa Emilia | Grandemilia| Modena
› Dispensa Emilia | Verona
› Dispensa Emilia | Stazione Centrale Milano
› Dispensa Emilia | Rescaldina (MI)
› Dispensa Emilia | Bergamo
› Dispensa Emilia | Casalecchio (BO)
› Dispensa Emilia | Meraville | Bologna
› Dispensa Emilia | I Portali | Modena
WORK IN PROGRESS
› Dispensa Emilia | Lonato del Garda (BS)
› Dispensa Emilia | Curno (BG)