In what is truly the making of a movie script, the Marra brothers are writing what may someday hit the big screen. Francesco and Enzo Marra came to the US with nothing more than a dream and a commitment to hard work.
They launched their food service career in the United States in 1999 with the opening of a food distribution company. AF evolved into one of The Washington/Baltimore markets’ most successful importers of specialty foods from Italy. After 15 years, they decided to take their expertise and develop their new brand Marra Forni. They got into the pizza oven business after a client asked if they could get him an oven from Italy.
The rest is history, as that single oven led to the creation of what has now become the first brick oven manufacturer made in the USA.
Marra Forni’s key to success has been its ability to merge the technology and aesthetics of the traditional Italian oven with the cost-efficiency of U.S. service. “We really modernized the look. Before, they were a lot more traditional,” Francesco said of the ovens. “We made it into something in a more modern Italian style.”
Recognition of Marra Forni continues to grow, as the company won a pair of KI-Kitchen Innovation Awards at last month’s NRA Show. Marra Forni’s powerful Open-Mouth Electric Brick Oven took home honors, with its cooking temps up to 1,000°F that can perfectly bake a pizza in 45 seconds and churn out up to 200 pies per hour. The unit features Sorrento refractory brick walls and deck to provide optimal efficiency and balanced, all-heat retention under a low dome. “This is truly the first electric pizza oven that can generate heat so that the door can stay open to make it both operationally and energy efficient,” Francesco added.
The Rotator Deck Brick Oven with Double Mouth Opening also was tabbed for a KI-Kitchen innovation award for being the industry’s first pass-through, rotating deck oven to use two forced-air burners (totaling just 84K BTU/hour) to produce pizzas from both directions in under 90 seconds.
“Operators love that two chefs can be working on this oven at the same time,” Francesco explained. Controls regulate heat, rotation speed from zero to 180 seconds, even separate temperatures for each side if so desired. An air screen keeps the heat in.
“One of the other major changes we are seeing is that our ovens are being used for so much more than pizza,” Francesco continued. “At the NRA show, we had our chefs cooking Tomahawk steaks and even fish.”
“I simply can’t say enough about the team we have built at Marra Forni. With the help of some truly motivated young and energetic talent, we have been able to grow to some 50-plus professionals, all pulling together to build the industry’s best pizza oven,” Francesco concluded. Truly a story to stay tuned for on the big screen someday.
To learn more about Marra Forni, visit their website.