The recipe for sweetness,
blending ancient flavours and contemporary tastes
A story of commitment and passion that began in 1930 and spans three generations. For Rocco Scutellà, who today manages the family business, being a master pastry chef is just the starting point.
On the slopes of Aspromonte in the province of Reggio Calabria, in the small town of Delianuova, there is always time for a tasty visit. A wealth of products found in a journey of tastes and traditions.
“Our story is a long one, the first license of the restaurant is dated 1927.” In that year, Rocco Scutellà’s great-grandfather owned a café-bottle shop. Coming from a large family he opened it out of necessity but, being self-taught, he worked hard and became a true craftsman of sweetness.
“However, the real pastry business began in 1930, when my grandfather opened a stone oven in Piazza Assunta, in Delianuova. On its counters there were biscuits, pastries and nougat with pure almonds.” There’s no question: according to Rocco, you have to consider this the date of the foundation of Pasticceria Scutellà. In 1946, his grandfather moved to Via Roma and created a more welcoming space there. It was only a 30 square metre shop with a small bar attached, but the entrepreneurial mind of his grandmother immediately turned it into a successful business, destined to grow exponentially. The years passed, with the pastry chef always at the centre of the entrepreneurial dream: First, in 1992, the shop in Via Roma was renovated by Rocco Antonino Scutellà’s father then, in 2005, the big step was the purchase of an old historic building in Delianuova. That elegant building, from the Umbertine period, stands on the same street but its spaces are more precious and refined. Work on the important structural restoration began in 2010 and the ambitious project was completed two years later, thanks to a collaboration with Aba Arredamenti. “Our idea was to make the Umbertine building our headquarters, designing a place that would tell our story. Hanging on the walls are photos, documents, and articles. I am strongly tied to traditions and, above all, to my origins and I wanted this to emerge clearly.”
“I knew that Aba was able to sew custom-made furnishings,” Rocco recalls, “and I had clear ideas: the place had to be welcoming and elegant, current and prestigious. There were so many meetings to discuss with Roberto Giaccherini and decide on the strategy, but visitors’ reaction of wonder when they cross the threshold is confirmation that we have done a great job.”
Nougats, shortbreads, amaretti, dried pastas, cakes and traditional specialities. An intoxicating scent to tease customers, who remain enchanted in front of the display cases of sweets.
The pastry shop is a landmark for Delianuova, welcoming regular customers and visitors from all over Italy. For some years now, the same “pastry philosophy” has given rise to another store, in Reggio Calabria, run by a saleswoman from the main store.
Rocco, in 2012, knew that he had received an important legacy and he wants to live up to it. “Love and passion for this job are the first values I inherited from my grandfather and father, together with the desire to always improve myself.” Thus, he began the process of joining the Accademia Maestri Pasticceri Italiani and in 2015, only three years later, with pride and satisfaction, he achieved his goal. The coveted title brings with it a wind of change. The shop also has to undergo some changes, especially in terms of equipment, machinery, and personnel in the workshop.
“Aba, was a great ally in optimising our “invitation” with a wonderful play of lights outside that attracts customers and guides them from the chocolate counter to the bar counter and onto the pastries.”
The variety of sweets on offer is growing and the special production of panettone has begun. This is a Christmas cake that, from the beginning, has given great satisfaction to customers and producers. In 2019, the famous leavened product won the prestigious title of “Best traditional panettone,” after having been submitted to the scrupulous judgement of the jury of excellence during the event “Panettone without borders,” a unique event that compares artisanal panettone from all over Italy.
“The quality and attention to the ingredients and to their impeccable workmanship are the basis of our work. Just as fundamental, for us, is the reception. Aba, in the person of Roberto Giaccherini, was a great ally in optimising our “invitation” with a wonderful play of lights outside that attracts customers and guides them from the chocolate counter to the bar counter and onto the pastries. All created through the reuse of ancient materials like brass to create some of the signs. At the end of the corridor there is also a small parlour in light wood and stone and an open enoteca.”
Exporting this model is possible. Rocco Scutellà is planning to build an important store in a large city in northern Italy, but it’s all still top secret. Except for the help requested from Aba.
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