Meet the owners
Born and bred in Bergamo, Alex Signorelli is famous for bringing authentic Italian flavours to the menu at Signorelli’s Deli Cambridge, his Cambridge deli and bistro. Over the past few years he has also opened Mediterranean-inspired La Piazza By Signorelli’s and Il Mertato at The Grafton. The quality of the food is only matched by the passion and dedication that Alex puts into these businesses!
What was the inspiration behind setting up your business?
Have to say my late father – I was born and raised in the catering industry in Northern Italy (Bergamo)and although at the time I used to hate restaurants, he influenced me in having respect in the “how” and “where” to source the food but most importantly to always put the raw materials like the meats before any financial gains. This is something I embraced and with this approach and joining this with my passion of bakery the Signorelli’s Deli was born!
What does being an independent business mean to you?
Everything! Independent means flexibility and ownership of the ethos of the business and what it stands for, but also the business should also reflect my believes as a person! Although this itself comes at a higher stress levels as you are the final decision maker so every action and decisions are far more important and could also determine the success or failure of the business.
What’s the best seat in the house?
In Signorelli’s Deli has to be the back table also known between our regulars as my office! It sits just outside the bakery so the smells of the fresh bread and pizzas are just amazing but also has an overview of the restaurant so can have a constant eye on what’s going on.
What’s on the menu?
A wide choice of authentic Italian food where the recipes are completely authentic to what I would expect to find in the small towns/villages in Italy. The main difference with Signorelli’s is that what ever has been placed on a Pizza or inside a pasta dish or focaccia are the very same ingredients that can be purchased in our deli.
Any interesting history in the building?
To be fair, not a very rich history as before Signorelli’s deli the previous owners used to sell TV’s and HiFi systems.
What makes yours a green or environmentally friendly business?
We are always looking to cut back on food waste and plastic and also encouraging our producers back in Italy to also do the same.
Why is it important for people to support independent business now more than ever?
I believe that without independent business we wouldn’t just loose out financially in terms of taxes and employment on a national level, but I think we would also loose the backbone of the British spirit and entrepreneurship! Our creativeness and that buzz of a new idea will be lost due to red tape and decisions made by people who don’t understand the need of the local consumer, even worst decisions being made by spreadsheet analysts sitting in an office far away! Bottom line is that we need independent businesses in order to create, thrive and also to be different from one and other. If the high street is mainly dominated by multinationals then all the high street in the UK would just be the same!
If you went to a desert island, what three things would you take?
My daughter, my wife and a fishing road thats all i need to be happy!
What would be your superpower and why?
Ability to switch off! Unfortunately one of the downsides of being an independent business means that all decision and problems are ultimately down to me!
What is your favourite animal?
Koala, their cute and just so laid back!
What advice would you give your younger self?
Life is for living and not for working
How would you spend the perfect day in Cambridge?
I think we are so lucky to live and work in Cambridge, a city that in its self is so beautiful and so accessible with so much history of achievements. Because of my job I just love going for a lengthy walk along the River Cam and stopping for a couple of drinks and a bite in the many independents businesses we have in Cambridge.
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