ElevenTwelve is an e-commerce organization specializing in Italian foods and wine founded by 4 Italian-born American football gamers. As a result of their passion for American soccer and Italian foods, co-founders Giorgio Tavecchio, Vincenzo D’Amato, Davide Merlo and Paolo Tempo are on a mission to share their lifestyle and group with the United States.
“Our intention is to be the premier Italian way of living knowledge in the United States. There are quite a few Italian importers, but we supply distinctive and genuine activities as opposed to just offering solutions,” explains Giorgio Tavecchio, CEO of ElevenTwelve.
“Our mission is not to market Italian solutions but to educate shoppers to understand and enjoy the Italian way of daily life. To do this, we are regularly including to our bouquet of solutions, picking out not only dependent on quality, but also on uniqueness and specialness. We are an American Desire sharing the Italian Aspiration!”
Tavecchio grew up concerning Italy and the United States. Nevertheless he considered his path was to perform colligate soccer, he was made available a final minute stroll-on place on the Cal Berkeley soccer group. “As the Godfather famously said, ‘it was an offer I could not refuse.’ I showed up on campus a few days just before the initially match and finished up setting up for four decades — a definitely rare event,” he recalls. Tavecchio finished up continuing his soccer profession in the NFL, enjoying for six teams in 9 several years.
Tavecchio fortuitously satisfied every of his co-staff as a result of the recreation of soccer. It has been their adore of Italian meals and wine that has solidified their bond, previous just friendship, and into the entire world of business enterprise.
“We designed a deep bond of friendship which seemed to middle all around the desk that distinctive time and space in which we shared lifetime collectively. Reflecting on this deep perception of link, two completely diverse worlds — American Soccer and Italian meals and wine — seemed to unite wonderfully.”
We chatted with Tavecchio on how ElevenTwelve arrived with each other, his enthusiasm for Italian delicacies, the ElevenTwelve team, and additional. Here’s what he had to say.
How did you go from professional football to co-founding ElevenTwelve? When did you make a decision you desired to make the go into this new industry?
Perhaps the most impactful experience from my formative school decades was my friendship with Vincenzo D’Amato. His tale is pretty similar to mine: born in Palermo, Sicily and moved to the US around age nine, he also grew up actively playing soccer but observed his path to faculty getting the condition of an American soccer.
In a rare stroke of coincidence, were the only two Italian-born faculty soccer gamers in the total state: at the same higher education, at the exact same time, actively playing the identical placement (kicker).
Although we competed for the commencing spot on the industry, we became the very best of close friends off the discipline due to our shared values and cultures, often web hosting huge crew dinners ourselves. After four formative several years at Cal Berkeley, I had the very good fortune of continuing my football journey into the NFL. Because of our one of a kind soccer backgrounds as Italians, Vincenzo and I would return to Italy to support mentor soccer clinics.
It was at a single of these clinics in 2018 (while I was on the Oakland Raiders) where we satisfied Paolo and Davide. And just like the serendipity of my and Vincenzo’s meeting in college or university, we promptly felt a near relationship to Paolo and Davide, investing long hrs close to a supper table sharing stories and reliving (… and exaggerating) our soccer glory days.
We uncovered that everyday living is much better when lived collectively, just like playing much better when enjoying as a team. Like in a soccer huddle, we looked at each and every other and claimed: ‘Let’s play this match so we can share this feeling with other people’. In this way, two worlds united into a single lead to: enable other persons rejoice everyday living, a person meal at a time.
The seed planted in Italy then sprung fruit in the United States as we introduced ElevenTwelve in 2019. Whether kicking industry objectives in the NFL or producing tackles on filth fields in Italy, we selected our jersey quantities to characterize our brand name: “Eleven” just after Davide’s jersey selection and “Twelve” immediately after Paolo’s jersey number. We personified our union of American soccer and Italian foodstuff by producing the very first ever football-shaped pasta!
Chat about your passion for Italian cuisine and lifestyle. Did you mature up cooking or in the cafe industry?
Of course, both my mother and father are great chefs so I have vivid childhood memories of sitting all-around long tables total of foodstuff and spouse and children, eating and chatting for several hours on close. I arrived to cherish these encounters as they ended up actually lifetime-providing!
1 matter I fondly remember when returning to Italy as a kid was the day-to-day simplicity of Italian foods. The fact that every single moment at the desk — no matter whether a exclusive situation at a cafe or a mundane Tuesday lunch — could be exclusive. The solution is simplicity: a couple top quality ingredients with negligible planning, like Tagliatelle with Additional Virgin Olive Oil and Parmesan cheese (… first Parmigiano however), can be unbelievably enjoyable and manufactured in under 5 minutes!
Also, my mom comes from a restauranteur household so I grew up in-and-all around kitchens my overall everyday living. In actuality, when I turned 15 my mother instructed me: ‘you have two weeks to uncover a task or I’m obtaining a single for you,’ so I the natural way gravitated towards being a bus-boy at the neighborhood Italian cafe.
And finally, in addition to inheriting my mother’s curly hair, I also inherited her ‘hanger’. As such, most of my working day is centered close to foods and selections often produced with my belly.
Has pro soccer ready you in any way for what you do now? Has your passion for this sport carried into your team’s passion for ElevenTwelve? Discuss about what just about every of your co-founders provides to the table.
Soccer has taught me to be resilient and keep on being committed to a dream and to a staff, just like in Al Pacino’s halftime speech in “Any Given Sunday”. Our crew is committed to aiding some others rejoice life a person meal at a time! Like any other group, we each individual deliver special abilities to the desk.
Davide has spent much more than 30 yrs in the wholesale food items and wine acquiring marketplace in Italy and has personal awareness of and connections with artisanal producers in Piemonte. Paolo’s qualifications in finance can help structure our enterprise and his deeply charismatic identity is the soul of ElevenTwelve.
Vincenzo delivers a southern-Italian flare to our group, handling considerably of the in-man or woman responsibilities even though I handle much of the marketing and small business improvement component. Our passion for dwelling life thoroughly is what introduced us together and is the joy we desire to share with other individuals, specially all-around a desk!
Have you had to pivot in any way for the reason that of COVID?
Of course, our original tactic involved a more B2B and foodservice (places to eat, caterers) strategy for strategic and economic reasons. However, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated our launching into e-commerce, exactly where we are in a position to transmit far more of our personalized mission and purpose to buyers by using our innovative material.