Four Former Professional Football Players Tackle The World Of Italian Cuisine

ElevenTwelve is an e-commerce corporation specializing in Italian food stuff and wine founded by four Italian-born American soccer gamers. Through their enthusiasm for American soccer and Italian meals, co-founders Giorgio Tavecchio, Vincenzo D’Amato, Davide Merlo and Paolo Tempo are on a mission to share their tradition and local community with the United States.

“Our purpose is to be the leading Italian life-style encounter in the United States. There are quite a few Italian importers, but we supply one of a kind and genuine activities as opposed to just providing solutions,” explains Giorgio Tavecchio, CEO of ElevenTwelve. 

“Our mission is not to provide Italian solutions but to teach individuals to comprehend and adore the Italian way of existence. To do this, we are regularly including to our bouquet of solutions, deciding upon not only based mostly on top quality, but also on uniqueness and specialness. We are an American Aspiration sharing the Italian Desire!” 

Tavecchio grew up in between Italy and the United States. Though he believed his route was to enjoy colligate soccer, he was supplied a previous moment wander-on spot on the Cal Berkeley football staff. “As the Godfather famously said, ‘it was an offer you I couldn’t refuse.’ I confirmed up on campus 3 times before the very first match and finished up commencing for 4 yrs — a truly uncommon event,” he recalls. Tavecchio ended up continuing his soccer career in the NFL, taking part in for 6 groups in 9 yrs. 

Tavecchio fortuitously satisfied just about every of his co-staff through the recreation of soccer. It has been their like of Italian foodstuff and wine that has solidified their bond, earlier just friendship, and into the planet of business.

“We created a deep bond of friendship which appeared to center all around the desk that distinctive time and room in which we shared life alongside one another. Reflecting on this deep sense of link, two completely unique worlds — American Soccer and Italian food items and wine — appeared to unite beautifully.”

We chatted with Tavecchio on how ElevenTwelve came collectively, his passion for Italian delicacies, the ElevenTwelve crew, and more. Here’s what he had to say.

How did you go from professional football to co-founding ElevenTwelve? When did you decide you needed to make the move into this new marketplace?

Probably the most impactful experience from my formative faculty years was my friendship with Vincenzo D’Amato. His story is rather related to mine: born in Palermo, Sicily and moved to the US all around age 9, he also grew up taking part in soccer but found his route to faculty using the form of an American football.

In a rare stroke of coincidence, were being the only two Italian-born higher education football players in the full state: at the same school, at the very same time, taking part in the similar position (kicker). 

Even though we competed for the commencing spot on the industry, we turned the ideal of friends off the subject due to our shared values and cultures, generally web hosting substantial staff dinners ourselves. After 4 formative years at Cal Berkeley, I experienced the fantastic fortune of continuing my football journey into the NFL. Because of our exclusive soccer backgrounds as Italians, Vincenzo and I would return to Italy to aid coach football clinics.

It was at just one of these clinics in 2018 (though I was on the Oakland Raiders) in which we satisfied Paolo and Davide. And just like the serendipity of my and Vincenzo’s assembly in college or university, we quickly felt a near connection to Paolo and Davide, paying out prolonged several hours around a supper table sharing tales and reliving (… and exaggerating) our soccer glory times.

We located that life is better when lived together, just like playing superior when playing as a workforce. Like in a soccer huddle, we looked at every single other and stated: ‘Let’s perform this game so we can share this sensation with other people’.  In this way, two worlds united into one particular induce: enable other people celebrate lifetime, one particular food at a time. 

The seed planted in Italy then sprung fruit in the United States as we released ElevenTwelve in 2019. Whether kicking area ambitions in the NFL or making tackles on filth fields in Italy, we selected our jersey numbers to stand for our model: “Eleven” after Davide’s jersey selection and “Twelve” after Paolo’s jersey amount. We personified our union of American soccer and Italian foodstuff by making the to start with at any time soccer-formed pasta!

Talk about your passion for Italian delicacies and society. Did you expand up cooking or in the restaurant field?

Of course, each my dad and mom are great chefs so I have vivid childhood reminiscences of sitting all-around extended tables full of food items and family members, having and chatting for several hours on finish. I came to cherish these activities as they were definitely daily life-giving!

A person factor I fondly keep in mind when returning to Italy as a kid was the daily simplicity of Italian food items. The reality that each individual second at the desk — whether or not a specific event at a cafe or a mundane Tuesday lunch — could be distinctive. The solution is simplicity: a several high quality elements with small planning, like Tagliatelle with Added Virgin Olive Oil and Parmesan cheese (… initial Parmigiano though), can be unbelievably fulfilling and made in underneath 5 minutes!

Also, my mom comes from a restauranteur household so I grew up in-and-about kitchens my whole daily life. In point, when I turned 15 my mother advised me: ‘you have two weeks to find a occupation or I’m getting just one for you,’ so I normally gravitated towards staying a bus-boy at the regional Italian cafe.

Lastly, moreover inheriting my mother’s curly hair, I also inherited her ‘hanger’. As these types of, most of my day is centered close to foods and choices usually built with my abdomen.

Has pro soccer ready you in any way for what you do now? Has your passion for this activity carried into your team’s enthusiasm for ElevenTwelve? Discuss about what every of your co-founders delivers to the table.

Soccer has taught me to be resilient and remain committed to a desire and to a team, just like in Al Pacino’s halftime speech in “Any Supplied Sunday”. Our staff is dedicated to helping some others rejoice lifestyle one particular food at a time! Like any other group, we every convey exclusive abilities to the desk.

Davide has put in more than 30 a long time in the wholesale food stuff and wine purchasing business in Italy and has personal expertise of and connections with artisanal producers in Piemonte. Paolo’s history in finance aids structure our enterprise and his deeply charismatic individuality is the soul of ElevenTwelve.

Vincenzo delivers a southern-Italian flare to our team, handling much of the in-man or woman responsibilities even though I control much of the internet marketing and business enterprise development component. Our enthusiasm for living everyday living fully is what brought us jointly and is the pleasure we desire to share with many others, particularly all around a table!

Have you experienced to pivot in any way for the reason that of COVID?

Certainly, our original tactic included a far more B2B and foodservice (eating places, caterers) method for strategic and economic reasons. However, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated our launching into e-commerce, wherever we are equipped to transmit much more of our own mission and objective to consumers by way of our artistic material.

Barbara J. Miriam

Next Post

Have you tried your state's top food truck?

Sun Aug 15 , 2021
The best food on wheels You don’t have to visit a bricks-and-mortar restaurant to taste some of America’s greatest dishes. The USA’s food truck scene is flourishing and many carts have menus to rival the country’s best-loved restaurants. From barbecue trucks to roving waffle houses, these are our favorites […]
Have you tried your state's top food truck?