Gianni grew up in the Lazio region of Italy and was 14 years of age when he went to catering school in Fiuggi. Over the 3-year course all aspects of hospitality were covered, from front of the house, waiting to the full kitchen and bar training as well as administrative aspects of the business. That was followed by work experience at various establishments in the area at hotels and restaurants.
He then came to the UK in 2005, pursued his passion, worked hard to learn how the trade operates here and opened his first business with his wife Aleksandra back in 2011, a small restaurant in the town centre of Eastbourne. Gianni and Aleksandra ran that until 2017, and then went on to concentrate on Gianni’s which they have done ever since.
“Given the location we felt that this place was crying out for someone to start selling gelato, we’re on Terminus Road (now called Victoria Place) which takes the tourists all the way from the station to our beautiful seafront. We knew we had the space and capacity to expand our offering a little beyond a standard dine in restaurant.
When we originally started our journey, we had very little idea about gelato, we knew we liked it, very much! But we also knew we could make a business of it, so we started to look where we could possibly buy the ice cream from. We tried and tested a lot, but we were never satisfied with the quality.
It was almost like it all happened for a reason, when by chance, a friend came across machinery and asked if we were possibly looking for some, it was a good deal, so we gave it a go and that’s how it all started. We were testing with different flavours, following recipes but it still wasn’t what we wanted. Gianni went on to take the professional course on Gelato, and we developed it from there, always wanting to improve the business to make something better and eventually becoming an organic handcrafted gelateria, and a part of Ice Cream Alliance and a Guild of fine Food members. We make sure the milk and cream are organic and are sourced locally from Hook & Son. The quality of our ingredients is the key that comes at a hefty price to us, but we want to make sure we bring the best product to our customers, so it’s worth it.
So, we had Gelato. But finding ourselves among countless Italian establishments in Eastbourne we knew we had to bring something more, something that was new and unique and that’s when Pinsa Romana came to mind. We had plenty of time on our hands to learn about it whilst being in lockdown- it sort of made us start all over again, the courses, the training, hours and hours mastering the preparation process and finally a successful board judging of the ready Product!!
We became the UK’s FIRST and for now ONLY CERTIFIED PINSERIA #154 – It wasn’t straightforward to offer it, the main ingredients are only available from Italy, so we had to start importing goods directly from Rome. We are constantly looking at doing something different to others and have ambitious goals, we like having an offering that nobody else has!
I love the buzz, I’m a people’s person and I really like to engage with our customers and listen to them, we always hear and reflect on their feedback as that’s very important in a healthy and successful business. The venue gives us an opportunity to grow within the community and we’re supportive of what’s going on around us. We support local charities and schools as much as possible.”
Gianni is very much behind the scenes, so people don’t get to see him much, he hides in the kitchen, constantly searching for more to bring to the table, whilst Aleksandra is the more visible part of the team overseeing the day-to-day operations.
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Gianni’s is an authentic family run Italian restaurant established in 2017. Located in the heart of Eastbourne’s Victoria Place.
Our forte are our fabulous thin crust, crispy pizzas and our own Gelato. We cook traditional as well as modern Italian dishes and proudly produce our own Artisan Gelato and fresh fruit sorbets all available in up to 22 great flavours. Pizzas, Pastas, Meat as well as Fish, Seafood and Vegetarian dishes are being cooked on the premises right to order by our amazing Chefs. We have recently expanded our offer and cater for a gluten intolerant as well as vegan customers.
Coming to Gianni’s will take you for the journey to Italy. Relaxed atmosphere, typical Italian decor, dimmed soft lights, soft Italian music in the background, intimate dining area and most importantly GREAT TASTY FOOD and FIRST CLASS SERVICE. What else could you ask for!
Come and try it yourself , it will surely be one of your favourite places on Eastbourne’s map.