Who's behind Papi's Munchies, you ask? Well, let us tell you. 3 people, one dream.
The first person you'll likely come across whether you're at the North Star Pub or scrolling through social media is Simona Terrone. Born in Naples, Italy, Simona moved to London straight after finishing high school in 2013. Through hard work and passion, she became a freelance illustrator, a path that continues at Papi's where she is in charge of branding, marketing, and social media, all while running the floor and helping in the kitchen with a smile. Also, if you ask any of them who's boss, the answer will most definitely be "Simona" who keeps check on the pizzas' Neapolitan authenticity.
Born in 1989, Agustin Cendrero is the name giver of Papi's Munchies. Lovingly referred to as Papi in previous jobs, the name caught on and when it came to naming their adventure, it was a no-brainer to include the nickname. Through his dad, who runs a bar in Madrid, Agustin was already involved in hospitality when he moved to London in 2014. And he always knew he, like his father, wanted to eventually open his own business.
To add a final country to the background of our favourite team, Marcos Cardoso moved to London in 2017 at age 22 from the beautiful islands of The Azores, Portugal. But not before having graduated as a Cordon Bleu pastry chef in Spain. Next time you are gobsmacked by how good Papi's tiramisu is, now you know why.
So by now you may have noticed that there are many different languages floating around at Papi's Munchies and believe you us: knowing one of them won't be enough to join in on the gossip as the three have developed a hybrid language of Spanish, Italian, and English. That is one way to keep your business secrets safe.
All having moved to London to pursue their passion from arts to hospitality, the trio was bound to meet and as fate would have it, they finally did meet in Hackney Wick in 2017 working in the same pizzeria. As time passed, they found themselves more and more in charge of what was happening and when it got to the point where they had learned all there was in their current job, the question of "what next?" arose. It was always clear to them that they were done working for other people and as their relationship developed, one fateful evening they decided to join forces and start their own little company. Easier said than done, a trying (but rewarding!) time was ahead of them.
June 2020. Lockdown had made life pretty miserable in London (and all over the world) and Simona, Agustin, and Marcos, who all lived together in Leytonstone, decided to get started from the comfort of their small kitchen. With a tiny household pastry mixer and an oven that only fit 2 pizzas at once, 27 was the record number of pizzas Papi's would do in a day. Delivery drivers would knock on their front door to collect the sought-after homemade delicacies and the lot spent hours a day handing our flyers and menus and giving away free pizza to build their reputation. It was on one of those sales trips when they wandered down the road to the North Star Pub, handed over a flyer and met the pub's owner Kevin. He was intrigued and asked where Papi's was operating from and when he heard that they were operating from their very own flat down the road, he invited them to view the spare kitchen in the back of the pub. The three spent all of July cleaning and renovating the space to make it suitable for their endeavours and finally, on the 1st of August 2020, they had moved production into the backyard of the North Star Pub. The big move into the new kitchen was a step in the right direction, however, that didn't immediately mean profitability. In the first week, Papi's Munchies bashed out 50 pizzas and slowly saved enough money to upgrade their oven and dough mixer to bigger ones - there's only so many pizzas you can do 2 at a time! While the pub remained closed due to Covid restrictions, Papi's made use of all the different delivery platforms and the heightened demand for take away to create income. All their takings were invested straight back into the business as they refurbished the kitchen one bit at a time. Using their hard-earned personal savings, Simona, Agustin, and Marcos were adamant to use only the best ingredients from the very beginning, setting incredibly high-quality standards for their delicious sourdough pizza. The meats were all sourced from Italy, while their mozzarella was from Napoli and their delicious San Marzano tomato sauce from Salerno. Using only fresh ingredients without freezing anything on site helped reduce their energy consumption and offered a sustainable, environmentally-friendly edge.