Pizzeria Libretto has successfully made a business by committing to an authentic and inventive approach, using only high-quality ingredients and a passion for exceeding its customers' needs.
In the words of founders Chef Rocco Agostino and Max Rimaldi,
..." their cuisine is built upon the fundamental views instilled in them since childhood, of prizing seasonal ingredients, simplicity, and deliciousness."
This not only describes the Pizzeria Libretto approach to their food and their restaurants, but it also describes the kind of relationship they were looking for with the company responsible for the construction of their restaurants.
Pizzeria Libretto was an up-and-coming restaurant in the competitive Toronto market. They designed a menu and an approach that left their customers raving and wanting more.
To listen to Max Rimaldi and Gary Quinto tell the story, you can sense they greeted their growth with equal measures of enthusiasm and trepidation. They knew they needed to forge a partnership with a company that understood the Toronto market, would have the necessary restaurant experience but a flexible enough approach to help them fulfil their commitment to creating a space that would be respectful of their unique approach.
Studio Intersekt was committed to understanding Pizzeria Libretto, its brand, philosophy, and preferences for materials and building standards.
"WHEN WE BECAME INVOLVED WITH STUDIO INTERSEKT FIVE YEARS AGO, WE WERE LOOKING FOR AN EXPERIENCED FIRM THAT WERE ALSO UP-AND-COMING. AS WE BEGAN TO WORK WITH THEM WE WERE IMPRESSED BY THEIR PROFESSIONAL APPROACH AND THEIR PERSONAL, HANDS ON ATTENTION."
- GARY QUINTO, CEO PIZZERIA LIBRETTO
Now that the two companies have worked together on 4 projects, Studio Intersekt and Pizzeria Libretto have developed a shorthand when working with one another, streamlining the design and development process.
Pizzeria Libretto finds considerable value in working with a “one-stop-shop” like Studio Intersekt.
Another Architect originally engaged with their first location, and decisions needed to be made regarding the engineering companies to be used in future locations.
Studio Intersekt was able to engage with the original designer while building a team and organizing the construction. This collaborative approach allowed Pizzeria Libretto to design a streamlined process, resulting in successful and unique new locations.
"WE UNDERSTOOD THEIR PASSION AND THEY PUT US IN A ROLE TO BE THEIR EXPERT, AND THEN TRUSTED OUR EXPERTISE TO TAKE THEM WHERE THEY WANTED TO GO."
- SCOTT MACDONALD, STUDIO INTERSEKT, PARTNER
Studio Intersekt worked with Pizzeria Libretto and their New York Architect Andre Kikoski on their second restaurant on the Danforth and then assisted them with their Toronto Interior Designer Irfan Bukhari on the planning and design of the University Street and King Street locations.
The appeal of working with a group that has a passion for creating something unique and amazing is to make sure you understand how they define words like: excellence, high quality, experience.
Then, you need to understand what this food experience means to them and their customers and do your best to translate that experience into a vibrant location that serves to complement it.
Working with a small brand and construction group meant it was important to look for opportunities to augment what they already had and identify gaps in the process.
Studio Intersekt became very hands-on and learned what the goals were regarding the Pizzeria Libretto brand and growth strategy.
Understanding the goals and values of the company informed decisions about design aesthetics and materials.
Becoming educated on what had gone on before helped Studio Intersekt define a process that could be scaled and leveraged to assure the best results on each of the restaurants and future endeavours.
Early into a relationship of this nature, it was important to build trust and become a resource that Pizzeria Libretto could leverage in their decision-making process.
"WE HAVE DEVELOPED A VERY STRAIGHT FORWARD PROCESS AND WE HAVE A REAL LEVEL OF TRUST WITH (STUDIO INTERSEKT’S) ABILITY TO MANAGE OUR ENGINEERS AND CONTRACTORS. WE ARE VERY COMFORTABLE WORKING TOGETHER AT THIS POINT."
- GARY QUINTO, CEO PIZZERIA LIBRETTO
In 2008 Pizzeria Libretto served their very first pizzas to the tiny community on Ossington Avenue. A few years later, the community would grow, and so would the spirit of Libretto, opening its 3rd location in November of 2014… and 4th in December 2015. The secret? Pizzeria Libretto aims to be loyal to what real pizza is, invented in Naples using local natural ingredients, cooked in a wood-fired oven at extremely high heat to achieve a charred, blistered crust. They use San Marzano tomatoes and Fiore di latte mozzarella, brought in fresh daily. Libretto’s dough is made with naturally leavened Italian Caputo doppio zero flour. Their pizza bakes in less than 90 seconds in 900-degree wood-burning ovens, which were hand-built for Pizzeria Libretto by 3rd generation pizza oven maker Stefano Ferrara in Naples.
Simple, Honest, and Natural.
Pizzeria Libretto takes their authentic Neapolitan Pizza seriously, following the strict rules and ingredients set out by the Italian certifiers:
“VPN Certification. AKA Real Deal Heritage Grade Pizza Napoletana as designated by the Italian Government and the European Union. Brick Oven made. Circular Shaped. Highest Standards Culinary Product. Diameter must not exceed 35 cm. Thinnest at its center. Charred and blistered crust. When held in hand, it must display high levels of softness, elasticity, and foldability. When placed inside someone’s mouth should provoke immediate and unparalleled delight.”