For 20 years, France Rechichi worked in the hospitality industry in hatted restaurants as well corporate catering. During his time in an Italian restaurant he became frustrated with gluten-free pizza bases that continually broke.
“After doing research, I found there was actually nothing out there,” he says.
Rechichi met food developer David Amar and discovered Amar was interested in developing a gluten-free pizza base, and in 2015 the pair decided to redress the lack of decent, tasty, non-breaking, gluten-free pizza bases.
The result was Pizzaiolis, which they launched in 2016. And they sold like hot cakes.
In 2017, sales of the pizza bases grew 200 per cent. Rechichi says the key to the low-key investment was in Amar’s suggestion for the business model.
When he approached David about doing pizza bases, he suggested no big overheads, with the pair working from home, and contracting out manufacturing, packaging, and marketing.
“We started out with Pizzaiolis as a brand. We didn’t have anything in mind except doing pizzas, but David had these cookies in the design pipeline anyway, so we brought them into our business,” Rechichi says.
With the pizza bases in foodservice only, and the cookies planned for foodservice and retail, the pair knew they needed to change branding from “Pizzaiolis”. The pizza bases now fall in under The Food Crafters brand.
Last year, The Food Crafters launched its line of gluten-free cookies. The range has three products – Raw Cacao, Double Coconut, and Ginger and Date – which come in two sizes: individual and 12 packs.
The target market for both products are those with gluten allergies and those making lifestyle choices. Rechichi says they also want to appeal to people on taste alone.
Having seen success with the cookies, The Food Crafters wants to expand into other lines, potentially including lasagnes, pastas and sauces, vegan high-protein cookies and more.