Pizza Today - July 2016 - 16

conversation

MICHELLE MONGELLI
ROOSTICA WOOD-FIRE PIZZERIA / KEY WEST, FLORIDA

MICHELLE LETS US
IN ON THE PIZZERIA'S
CONCEPT, PIZZA STYLE
AND CUSTOMER BASE
Veteran restaurateurs Michelle and Robert
Mongelli opened Roostica in 2012. The
Neapolitan-style pizzeria caters to locals
in Key West, Florida.

MY HUSBAND, ROBERT MONGELLI,
AND I own and operate two busy local

seafood restaurants and our newest
restaurant is Roostica Pizzeria, which
we opened four years ago. Roostica
and one of our seafood restaurants
are situated in Stock Island, which is
a working waterfront section of Key
West, well off the beaten path. We
decided to open Roostica because
we just had a mad passion for pizza
and there was a real need for a
neighborhood pizza hangout in our area
(and we got tired of making them at
home). In our quest to figure out what
type of pizza we were going to feature,
we traveled extensively through the
States, and some of our favorites were
Pizzeria Locale and Basta in Boulder,
Marco's Pizzeria (now Racca's Pizzeria
Napoletana) in Denver and it was
(owner Mark Dym) who said we have
to go to Naples, Italy, to visit Starita,
where we got a lot of inspiration.
We decided to go with two
Earthstone wood-burning ovens and
constructed the restaurant around them.
We finally agreed on the name Roostica
which is a play on the rustic Italian
1 6 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / J U LY 2 0 1 6

cuisine we fell in love with and the
roosters that run wild in Key West and
especially on Stock Island.
WE CONSIDER OUR PIZZA CONCEPT
AS NEO-NEAPOLITAN, which gives us

the opportunity to feature traditional
Neapolitan-style pizzas, but also have
the play room to try different types of
pizzas and have some fun with different
toppings, especially our local seafood!
Since we have two wood-burning ovens
- one is used for all of our pizzas and
the other is used to feature other items
on our menu that we prepare and finish
off in the oven.
NEAPOLITAN AUTHENTICITY helps
our brand in Key West, especially
since there was a real need for some
authentic-style pizza in our area. A
lot of the locals were unfamiliar with
traditional Neapolitan-style pizza at
first, and it has been well received so
far.
THE KEY TO US BEING SUCCESSFUL

in this tourist-driven area for sure is
that all of our restaurants are busy local
hangouts. Our restaurants are off the

beaten path in the working waterfront
section of Stock Island. And, even
though the tourists find their way to us
and enjoy mingling with the locals, the
regulars are very much recognized at all
of our places, which really makes them
feel special.
OUR SUNDAY GRAVY is a slow
cooked sauce with meatballs, sausage
and pork that can be ordered in various
sized family-style portions and it comes
with our homemade garlic bread and
salad. It has been a big hit from the
start. Everyone really enjoys the family
atmosphere here and there is just
something very comforting about having
a big family-style platter in the center
to dig into. We have our regulars every
Sunday! There is no other place in Key
West that serves family style.
AFTER BEING IN THE RESTAURANT
BUSINESS FOR SO LONG I think the one

thing we have learned is to listen to our
customer base - which we try to do
while staying true to our concept. Also,
we always look for what's missing or
needed and try to provide that for the
locals.


http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - July 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - July 2016

Pizza Today - July 2016
Commentary
Contents
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Man on the Street
Respecting the Craft
Trending Recipes
Destinations
Dough Doctor
Offering Wi-Fi to Customers
Sweeten Up Your Pie
Hot Toppings: Canadian Bacon
Hiring a Consultant
Pizza Today on the Road: Sauce Pizza & Wine, Phoenix, AZ
Pizza Today on the Road: Venezia’s NY Style Pizzeria, Phoenix, AZ
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Snapped
Pizza Today - July 2016 - CT1
Pizza Today - July 2016 - CT2
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Pizza Today - July 2016
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Cover2
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Commentary
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 4
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 5
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Contents
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 7
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 8
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 9
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Contributors
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 11
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 13
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Interact
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 15
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Conversation
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 17
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 19
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Respecting the Craft
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 21
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Trending Recipes
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 23
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Destinations
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 25
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Dough Doctor
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 27
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 28
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 29
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Offering Wi-Fi to Customers
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 31
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 32
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 33
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Sweeten Up Your Pie
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 35
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Hot Toppings: Canadian Bacon
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 37
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 38
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 39
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Hiring a Consultant
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 41
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 42
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 43
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Pizza Today on the Road: Sauce Pizza & Wine, Phoenix, AZ
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 45
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 46
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 47
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Pizza Today on the Road: Venezia’s NY Style Pizzeria, Phoenix, AZ
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 49
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 50
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 51
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 52
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 54
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 55
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 57
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 58
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 59
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 60
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 61
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 62
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 63
Pizza Today - July 2016 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 65
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 66
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 67
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 68
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 69
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 70
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 71
Pizza Today - July 2016 - 72
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Snapped
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Cover3
Pizza Today - July 2016 - Cover4
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