French entrepreneurs Victor Lugger and Tigrane Seydoux founded Big Mamma Group out of the desire to bring all the warmth and generosity of small traditional trattorias back to Italy. The couple opened their first East Mamma restaurant in Paris in 2015 and the business has since grown to include two locations in London, one in Madrid and 10 across France. The aesthetics of their delivery packaging and the interiors of their restaurants are fun, fresh and millennial-friendly, while the products come directly from over 200 small producers across Italy.
I read your mission to “deindustrialize” pizza delivery, explain? What does that mean?
Victor Lugger: Our first ambition with Big Mamma was to bring the best Italian products from artisanal and family suppliers in Paris, London and Madrid. With the delivery, we thought, why should this change? We are aware today that many people, especially at delivery, consume mass produced food. Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s for example all occupy a dominant position in the delivery market. Why? Because they promise to be cheap and fast, and that’s what the customer wants. We can do it “cheap and fast”, but we can do it with a better product.
I know the ingredients are extremely important to what you do and you work with over 200 Italian producers – how do you find them, what are the most important ingredients that you store? We first found them by visiting our favorite restaurants and trattorias in Italy and asking which vendors they work with. The challenge was getting these family businesses to agree to trust us enough to ship overseas, which they had never done before. All of these suppliers have so much demand for their products and it is only at the local level.
Today we have a lot of artisan suppliers, like the burrata from Emmanuele Camarrota from southern Puglia and the Parma ham from Stefano Borchini, and they luckily now recommend their friends to work with us as well.
Our most important ingredient is our fresh truffle, which when sliced should be consumed within 24 hours. Contrary to this, the product that we have the most in stock is Parmesan, which, since it is already 36 months old, can be kept for another one or two months.
What is the most difficult to find ingredient that you use? Mozzarella is the fastest aging product. Finding the best mozzarella from a supplier and the logistics to import it, so that it arrives fresh at the restaurant, is difficult. What people often ignore is that mozzarella doesn’t have to be creamy; it should be soft and firm. Once the mozzarella starts to get creamy, it has already lost its freshness.
What gives you hope for 2021? On a personal level, I had a lot of time to be with my children at home during these confinements.
You are growing enormously – what explains the expansion and success of the brand? We really try to stay true to our values. Every time we open a restaurant or create something new, we make sure that all that energy and spirit returns to our core values from our inception: sourcing directly from Italian producers, Italian staff, affordable prices and all in a magnificent setting with a dynamic environment. atmosphere.
Tell me about restaurant spaces? What atmosphere were you looking to create? Our catering spaces are designed to be large and sensory. We want you to come in and feel transported, as if you are in Italy. Yet when you sit down you feel homely, comfortable, and want to spend the whole day there.