Sicily, Apulia and Tuscany brought together by art and taste. A trip offered by the creative talents of FastSud.
The idea came from two young creative talents: an interior photographer from Sicily and a concept designer from Apulia. Mariella and Alessandra are food bloggers by passion and Tuscan by adoption, who united their love for their homelands – Apulia and Sicily – and gave life to FastSud, a young and modern concept that enhances excellences of the south in fast food dishes. Just a little over a year after the launch, they’ve been awarded with the “Forchettiere awards” prize as “Best launch 2019” of the Florentine food business and already became a brand franchising. Their motto: high-quality and plastic-free food. And it’s more than just ideas.
Let’s start by knowing something more about the two of you, Mariella. Who are you and how did the project start?
We are a creative duo. I am an interior photographer from Sicily and my business partner Alessandra is a concept designer from Apulia. In 2010, we both moved to Florence for studying reasons. One year after, we set up “Making of Ideas”, a laboratory of ideas that created several projects in different fields. The turning point came in 2016. Our deep passion for food and the love for our homeland has led to FastSud, a young and innovative concept that proposes and enhances ingredients of excellence from the south in fast food dishes.
Why Fast and why Sud?
We were inspired by the emblem of America’s most important rock fast food chain, and even designed our logo based on that emblem. We wanted to make a pun that would recap our concept: fast emphasizes the swift preparation, as everything is prepared after ordering; sud rhymes with food and specifies the origin of our ingredients, of the excellence coming from our area, artisan products, most of which are organic, as well as many slow food products.
Sicily – Apulia – Tuscany. Three regions rich in colors and traditions. What else do they have in common?
These three wonderful regions have definitely one thing in common, and that is art. Just consider that Lecce is nicknamed “Florence of the south”, because of its similarities with the Tuscan city. While true that the regions boast their own different colors, customs and traditions, at the same time they are very similar. Moreover, if we think that food is also art, as art of tasting is, I believe these regions best express such concept.
“Fuck Plastic” and everything that is not sustainable. More than an invitation, it’s a strong message to act.
We deeply love our sea and our land. This is why we designed our spaces plastic free. We like to think that our customers are not only consumers: eating here also means contributing to a positive and sustainable food system. FastSud is the first plastic-free designed place. Our dishes are made of 100% bran and are even edible.
How do you choose your products?
About two years before opening our first store in Florence, we carried out a thorough research. We searched for small artisan shops, most of which were family-run businesses, but also world-famous flagship companies of the two regions, such as Moak in Sicily and Salumificio Santoro in Apulia.
What experience do you want to offer at FastSud?
We wish our clients to close our eyes and taste our dishes to recall a holiday in our regions or discover new and unknown flavors. We personally got in touch and visited the companies of our suppliers, in order to take part in the production processes and tell our employees about the origin and history of every single product we use in our dishes. Then, we eagerly spread such precious information to our final customers, who will be able to take a real and genuine trip in the flavors of the south.
The delivery and fast food format are increasing above all in big cities. What is the added value or the difference you can offer compared to others?
Our motto is #inqualityfoodwetrust. In other words, we believe in high-end food products and only use ingredients of excellence. This is definitely the distinguishing feature of our format compared to others.
FastSud was set up just recently, but already is a brand franchising. When and where is the next opening?
We received highly positive feedback from the general public. By the end of the year, there will be a new opening in Florence, and soon also in other Italian cities, including Rome, Turin and Milan. Actually, our followers and customers ask us to launch the concept in their cities. For this reason, we decided to give anyone, who has good entrepreneurial skills and shares our philosophy, the opportunity to open their own FastSud franchise.
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