Rossano’s Pizza returns to Delray Beach after pizza camper crash

One particular calendar year following Marcelo Rossano misplaced his vintage pizza camper in a motor vehicle wreck, the grand rebirth of Rossano’s Pizza 2. began, as regular, with yet another setback.

In late April, Rossano experimented with firing up Naples-design and style pizza at a spot on North Federal Freeway — and then immediately shut all the things again down. No electrical energy flowed to his camper in this Delray Seaside parking lot, and the strip mall’s landlord could not deal with it.

“I said to myself, ‘I’m cooking no make a difference what,’ ” Rossano recollects. “I now place on Fb that we’re starting off tonight.”

He dashed off a Fb update to hungry prospects. The reopening of Rossano’s Pizza would now take place at a new venue: the driveway of his household. Dozens of neighbors and Delray followers swarmed his pizzeria-on-wheels. Even Nicole Maradona, niece of Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona, stopped by to try the pizza and admire a 6-foot-tall mural of her uncle painted on the aspect of the camper. (”El Diego” played 7 many years in Naples and turned an honorary citizen of the Italian city.)

If Rossano felt sentimental — and he did — it’s for the reason that he remembered how his pizzeria, and his livelihood, just about finished in catastrophe.

Right after cooking pies all evening outside a Wynwood artwork gallery in April 2021, the pizzamaker had closed up store and turned out of his parking space. In just seconds, a sedan smashed into the aspect of his camper. Rossano was unharmed, but his then-new pizzeria lay on the side of the street, totaled, wiring and kitchen tools spilling out of the undercarriage.

Immediately after the destruction of Rossano’s camper came an unexpected outpouring of guidance. The Delray Seaside group he served experienced, in two days, fundraised far more than $13,000 to support him buy one more just one.

Now, a calendar year later on, the similar Delray local community showed up at his residence for the impromptu pizza occasion.

“I have consumers now who arrived from in advance of the crash, and they are very pleased we’re back again in business,” Rossano tells the Sun Sentinel. “Others supported us simply because of the accident and they experienced in no way even tried using the pizza. Now they’re attempting it and loving it.”

Just after April’s phony commence, Rossano’s Pizza is back again to slinging 700-degree-fired, Neapolitan-fashion pies at its new lasting area: the rear parking large amount at Hopportunities, a Delray Seaside beer and wine hall.

Rossano’s Pizza 2., a 22-foot-very long Airstream Argosy trailer, is much more than two times the measurement of his past camper, a white 9-footer that fans affectionately identified as a “mozzarella ball on wheels.” This rebuilt 1970s camper resembles an outsized sky-blue capsule, with bronze trim alongside the trailer’s bottom lip and the larger sized-than-lifetime Maradona mural emblazoned in gold-leaf paint in close proximity to the buy window. The rear bumper bears the shades of the Italian flag.

Rossano dubs it a rolling tribute to his 50 percent-Italian heritage, the sky-blue matching “the coloration of Napoli soccer shirts,” states Rossano, 46, who is half-Uruguayan and emigrated from Montevideo in 1999.

Aboard the camper, Rossano and his spouse, Sharon Cherry, and 4-yr-old daughter, Romina, greet shoppers each Wednesday by means of Sunday, marketing 60 to 80 Neapolitan pies fired out of a new Marana Forni oven imported from Italy.

“It’s a far more comforting setting to do the job. It’s spacious in there,” Rossano claims. “I have the great house to work now, and I have my spouse and daughter each and every day there.”

South Florida’s summertime warmth nevertheless has not cramped Rossano’s renaissance. They offered out of pies each individual weekend in June. Its reputation even tempted Louie Bossi himself to halt by and sample the competitiveness.

“It’s arrive comprehensive circle for us,” suggests Cherry, 49, who does advertising for a electronic media company by day and serves pizza at night time. “He’s finding a good deal of 1st-timers. Commonly they see the pizza he’s serving appropriate that next, and they never know it is restaurant-high quality. But they order it since it looks excellent.”

“And often there are crickets at the window, way too,” Rossano adds, with a chuckle.

By the time Delray Seaside consumers experienced started a GoFundMe account to substitute the wrecked camper, the Rossanos experienced already invested considerably of their life savings. Jogging a cellular pizzeria had been a Approach B for Rossano, an Atlantic Avenue restaurant veteran (Tramonti, Che!, Casa L’Acqua Ristorante Italiano) who missing his occupation all through the pandemic as normal supervisor of the now-shut Sardinia Enoteca Ristorante.

Fundraising from Rossano’s supporters represented a final lifeline. In May possibly 2021, the spouse and children drove up to Orlando, purchased a broken husk of an Airstream trailer and hauled it again on the flatbed of an 18-wheeler.

Calling this next camper a fixer-upper was an understatement. It necessary an overhaul, starting with fresh tires, adopted by cupboards, plumbing, electrical power, air conditioning and refrigeration.

“We brought it to this experienced builder in Hialeah, we gave a down payment and two months go by, practically nothing finished,” Rossano recollects. “The excuses start. ‘I really do not have adequate people simply because of COVID.’ ‘I’ll get it completed in six weeks.’ We ended up having screwed.”

Rossano, who is helpful but not a handyman, determined enough was ample. “Marcelo took it on himself to come across the refrigeration, the A/C, the oven from Italy, and install it all himself,” Cherry claims.

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Immediately after the strip-mall debacle in April, they needed a new spot to park the restored camper. So Rossano named John Macatangay, owner of Hopportunities, which experienced hosted a GoFundMe function for Rossano’s Pizza in 2021.

“Marcelo is this kind of a warmhearted dude. Of study course I stated sure,” Macatangay says. “You can see the enthusiasm he has for his truck and his pizza, and he certainly rebuilt it by hand. But I assume he has the greatest pizza in the county. It somehow even preferences much better than very last yr.”

For now, Rossano’s Pizza will dish Neapolitan pies in 6 various configurations ($16-$18 for a 12-inch), although its most well known is the San Gennaro, with tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and generous ribbons of prosciutto.

There’s also the Veggie One particular, topped with zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, artichokes, stracciatella and a fig balsamic reduction, and the Toto, with smoked mozzarella, sausage, broccoli rabe and garlic. He suggests Italian natives frequently ask for specialty pies, this kind of as a white pizza with provolone, ricotta, mortadella and floor pistachios.

In early July, the pizzeria will expand its get to as a result of Shipping Dudes, which can provide Rossano’s pies to west Delray, Boynton Seaside and Boca Raton.

“Someone explained to me the working day immediately after my accident, he explained to me, ‘You will under no circumstances comprehend why the crash took place, but you’ll glance back again and see it’s the very best thing that transpired to you,’” Rossano suggests. “I didn’t think him then. But I consider him now.”

Rossano’s Pizza, at 440 NE Fifth Ave., in Delray Seaside (parked at Hopportunities beer corridor), is open 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays by way of Sundays. Call 561-406-0101 or stop by or