Lello Ravagnan's new bakery

It was meant to be "only" a lab where to pursue his research, but the pandemic then shuffled all the cards. It's now Labakery, making fresh bread, pizza and cakes for take away and delivery

02-04-2021
Lello Ravagnan's Labakery in Grigoris, Zel

Lello Ravagnan's Labakery in Grigoris, Zelarino (Venice)

Every time and place has its revolutionary people. In the restaurant industry, in the days of the pandemic, these are the men and women capable of imagining a present of resistance to the different measures, the openings and the closings and the uncertainties. Lello Ravagnan and Pina Toscani, partners in life and at work have every right to be in this list. Their revolution is made of water and flour in the same corner of Veneto where they already made another revolution in 2008, when they ventured with their Grigoris in the universe of “different” pizzerias: sourdough, research on dough, high quality flour, ingredients from small producers...

They were about to add a new piece to this road before the pandemic: a lab where they could do their research and move part of their work "behind the scenes". But the pandemic shuffled the cards and that place in Zelarino, which should have been only an operational location for Grigoris, became a bakery; in fact, it is still called the Grigoris Labakery, hinting at the initial project. Here LelloPina and the entire team (which went unchanged because ex volleyball player Lello is a strong believer of teamwork) bake bread, pizza, cakes to take away or for delivery.

Pina Toscani and Lello Ravagnan

Pina Toscani and Lello Ravagnan

«This bakery was not in our plans. When we bought the place in Zelarino, an old bakery of 140 square metres, we wanted to turn it into a lab for the pizzeria where before Covid-19 we would seat 2 thousand people per week, working from 6 am to the middle of the night, and bake also focaccias and panettoni over the holidays. Then the pandemic took over and we decided to turn the lab into a bakery with a shop», they confess. The seed of the bakery, however, had already been germinating for many years in the heart of Ravagnan and his wife. «For 15 years now, Pina and I have been travelling around Europe visiting bakeries and studying new formats. During one of our trips to Copenhagen we fell in love with the bread from MirabelleChristian Puglisi's bakery & restaurant, and our goal was to make bread with the same standards».

Labakery at Grigoris

Labakery at Grigoris

Then the passion for that bread came across a piece of news: Carol Choi, ex baker at Mirabelle, had opened an agritourism called Rantan with Francesco Scarrone in the Canavese area. Ravagnan says: «As soon as I read that Carol had moved to Italy, I called Rantan asking her if she would be available for a consultancy, and she accepted». The result of that first meeting and the following ones, of the passion of the people at Grigoris and the consequences of the pandemic, was the birth of Labakery, where each day they bake various types of bread: Petra Evolutiva and taggiasche olives; 100% Petra Maiorca; type 2 and wholewheat; 100% with rye and seeds; panfrutto with rye; 100% durum wheat... On top of a classic loaf made with type 0 an 1 flour that at Grigoris they use also for pizza.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso