Bringing Italy to Northeast Indiana
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To source the freshest ingredients, Golfo di Napoli brings the art of fresh cheesemaking to the heart of farm country.
It’s fair to say that Warren, Indiana is a long way from Naples, Italy. Though nearly 5,000 miles separate the two, the Somma family has found a way to bridge the distance.
“We’ve traveled all across America, and my father realized how the culture of fresh cheese is way different than in Italy,” said Giorgia Somma. “If you go to restaurants, 90 percent of the restaurants buy mozzarella from Italy. Since it has to be shipped here, it has to have a longer shelf life. We thought, ‘Why don’t we open a dairy and let people eat mozzarella the way we eat it in Italy?’ It’s as fresh as it can possibly be.”
Two years ago, Somma and her father Antonio opened Golfo di Napoli, a 35,000 square foot organic cheese manufacturing facility in the small Huntington County town of Warren. To them, being located in a farming community with a strong food and agricultural industry just made sense. They could source their milk locally to ensure that their products are made using the highest quality ingredients, then immediately send the cheeses to their Chicago restaurant, The Mozzarella Store, where diners can enjoy authentic pizzas, paninis and pasta.
A similar caffè is located at Golfo di Napoli’s Warren headquarters. Everything in the caffè, including the decorations, have been imported directly from Italy. “We want to make it as authentic as we can. Our staff is fully trained by Italian chefs. Even our coffee machine has been custom-made and imported from Italy. We also feature a wide variety of products such as wine and olive oil.”
While Warren may not be the obvious choice when selecting a location for a massive, global cheese manufacturing plant, Somma said her family has embraced Northeast Indiana and is proud to call the region home.
“We’re the only restaurant here, and we’re very lucky because there are people who travel from as far as an hour away to come here to eat or to buy our cheeses,” said Somma.
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