New American-Italian pizza brand enters Cebu

By: Vanessa Claire Lucero February 21,2016 - 09:38 PM
A VENETO PIZZERIA/FEB. 21, 2016 Opening of A Veneto Pizzeria at SM City Cebu - lower ground floor. (l-r) Harold Go; Ellen Go, Kathrine Neave, Mary Ann Benedicto and Benedict Benedicto. (CDN PHOTO/CHRISTIAN MANINGO)

Ellen Go (2nd from left), marketing and advertising head of a Veneto Pizzeria Ristorante, leads the ribbon cutting ceremony during the opening of the restaurant at SM City Cebu. (CDN PHOTO/CHRISTIAN MANINGO)

A NEW American-Italian restaurant has made its way into Cebu, bringing with it Americanized flavors of Italian favorites like pizza and pasta.

The family-owned ä Veneto Pizzeria Ristorante had its humble beginnings in New Jersey in 1994. When the family returned to the Philippines, they brought the restaurant with them, said director Timoteo Ignacio.

“All our ä Veneto restaurants serve authentic American-Italian food,” he said.

To date, there are seven ä Venetos in the Philippines, six of which are located in Manila. The seventh, which opened last Friday, is located in the lower ground floor of SM City Cebu.

Asked why they brought the brand to Cebu, Ignacio said they “wanted to give the Cebuano market a try.”

“Why not? Everyone wants to have restaurants now,” said Ellen Go, Cebu co-partner and head of marketing and advertising.

Go, together with Mary Ann Benedicto and Katherine Neave, formed the company Diamond Tom Ventures, Inc., which will manage ä Veneto in Cebu.

Ä Veneto Cebu is the company’s first venture.

“It’s the first branch in the Visayas and Mindanao,” she added.

Go, sister-in-law of Ignacio, first tried the dishes in Manila and wondered why they were not in Cebu. The dishes were good, and were value-for-money,” she said.

With a floor area of 125 square meters, the restaurant can comfortably sit 70 to 100 customers at a time.

Although there are no definite expansion plans yet, Ignacio said the family is considering opening more mall-based restaurants in Cebu.

“Everybody is going to malls on weekends. When they get hungry, they look for food places inside (the mall),” he said.

The company is also looking to expand to Davao and other key cities, Go said.

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TAGS: Cebu, SM City Cebu, Veneto Pizzeria Ristorante

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