Francesco Aimone: from Naples to Las Palmas, between gelato, pizza, and the perfect Moretti Forni baking

The entrepreneur from Campania was the first to bring a Neapolis oven to the Canary Islands to launch his Mamma Pizza project

The first Neapolis in the Canary Islands, at Mamma

The first Neapolis in the Canary Islands, at Mamma Pizza Las Palmas

How did the first Neapolis Moretti Forni oven arrive in Las Palmas, Canary Islands? Don't worry, we're not presenting a mystery for you to solve; instead, we want to tell you an interesting and fascinating story that once again showcases Italian talent and creativity: the creativity of the Marche-based company Moretti Forni, an absolute leader always at the forefront of baking technologies for leavened products, and the talent of Francesco Aimone, a Neapolitan pizza maker and entrepreneur who, as you’ve probably guessed by now, was the one who brought Neapolis, the world's most powerful electric oven designed to perfectly bake Neapolitan-style pizza, to the Canary Islands.

Aimone lives in Las Palmas, the capital of Gran Canaria, the largest island in the Atlantic Ocean archipelago. Here, he manages two businesses that work in perfect synergy: the first is called Mammamia Gelato, part of a large chain of franchised ice cream shops around the world, while the second is Francesco's own creation, called Mamma Pizza Las Palmas.

Francesco Aimone

Francesco Aimone

The protagonist of this story tells us about the beginning of his adventure in the restaurant industry: "I started working in this world when I was still in school, I was 16 years old. During weekends, I worked as a waiter since I attended a hospitality school. From there, my passion for this sector grew more and more." This passion led him to work with Nappi, a company from San Gennaro Vesuviano (Naples), engaged in the production of semi-finished products and goods for pastry, ice cream, and Ho.Re.Ca., which also manages Mammamia Gelato Italiano, franchised in the USA, Malaysia, India, Luxembourg, Iraq, Spain, Portugal, Senegal, Oman...

"My job," Francesco Aimone explains, "was basically to oversee the opening and launching of various franchise points, about 44 in total. I had the honor and pleasure of personally opening around thirty of them. Then, in December 2020, I came to Las Palmas to open a new ice cream shop for one of the franchise's most important clients, a lovely Lebanese entrepreneur named Samir, who owns several ice cream shops in Senegal. I immediately felt great in Las Palmas, and Mr. Samir made me a fantastic job offer, so I decided to settle here with my wife and son."

Once in Las Palmas, Aimone began considering the possibility of enriching the ice cream shop's offerings with other Italian cuisine specialties: "We realized that our shop had become a reference point for the local Italian community. Then we had space, about 300 square meters, so I proposed to the ownership that we also work on the emblematic dish of our tradition, pizza. After presenting a detailed project, the proposal was approved, and at that point, we knew we needed an oven: I had no doubts, it had to be Neapolis by Moretti Forni."

Francesco had already become familiar with Moretti Forni's work during his participation in the Sigep fair in Rimini - an international reference point for pastry, coffee, ice cream, and leavened products - where he had the opportunity to appreciate the quality and design of their ovens: "With Moretti Forni, it was love at first sight for me," Aimone recalls with a smile, "I was really impressed by the aesthetic beauty of their ovens, which combined with cutting-edge performance. The idea of relying on an electric oven that, besides providing perfect cooking for Neapolitan pizza, also represents a high Italian design object in the sales point, was irresistible."

Thus, Neapolis Moretti Forni landed in Las Palmas, but the praise for its features doesn't stop there: "Its performance is extraordinary in how the heat can be controlled to the smallest detail at any time during work, with admirable continuity even on the busiest days, but there's another feature that makes a difference for me. The proofing chamber located in the lower part of Neapolis, with its temperature also being perfectly controlled. This integrated proofing chamber offers a great advantage and I think it can be even more useful in colder climates: it can reach up to 60° and this can help a lot in the initial leavening process of the pizza dough. This technology has allowed us to maintain high-quality standards, making our pizza light and digestible."

Over the years, Francesco Aimone has gained direct experience as a pizza maker and applies a meticulous approach to every detail of the production: "The world of pizza has always fascinated me because I like to think of the pizza maker as a little chemist, playing with flours, yeasts, and temperatures to create a unique product. We prepare a high-hydration dough with a long fermentation of 48-72 hours, adding a very small amount of yeast. This process allows the pizza to rise almost naturally, making it very light and easily digestible. All our ingredients are made in Italy: Italian flours, Italian peeled tomatoes, while the mozzarella is produced by an Italian dairy located here in the Canary Islands. Sometimes people jokingly say it feels like being in a Little Italy. This makes our work even more meaningful because we manage to make our fellow countrymen, and there are many here in the Canary Islands, feel at home."

The success of the Mamma Pizza format in Las Palmas has already attracted the attention of other franchise shops: "We are the only shop in our network that has decided to focus on this new concept, and we are receiving a lot of positive feedback: some of the other larger shops might follow our example, integrating the pizzeria with the ice cream shop, because it's a synergy that works very well. At the end of the meal, many customers ask us to complement dinner with an ice cream, which we serve elegantly as a dessert. This integrated approach not only diversifies the offer but creates a unique experience for customers."

Francesco Aimone's story is an example of how passion and dedication can lead to great success even far from home: "My desire is to bring Italian tradition abroad more and more, I hope to be able to develop new shops in the future and continue to promote 'made in Italy,' one pizza at a time. I would love to bring this concept to Africa, taking advantage of the fact that our owner has significant business there. If we could then reach the United States, South America, or Australia, that would be fantastic. For now, however, we remain completely focused on the Canary Islands and the Spanish mainland."

With one certainty: wherever he opens a new pizzeria, Aimone will always rely on the perfect cooking and Italian design of Moretti Forni.

Moretti Forni

Moretti Forni

Identità Golose


Identità Golose

This article is curated by Identità Golose, the publication that organises the international fine dining congress, publishes website www.identitagolose.com and the online Guida Identità Golose, on top of curating many other events in Italy and abroad