Construction of first Spoleto – My Italian Kitchen near UCF has begun; company plans to expand its concept throughout the Orlando area
Spoleto, a popular chain of Italian restaurants in Brazil, Mexico and Costa Rica, has chosen Central Florida for its first location as it expands into the U.S.
America’s first Spoleto is set for Plaza on University, the student housing mixed use development across from the UCF campus. Construction has begun, with an anticipated opening in January. A second location is planned for Winter Park, anticipated to open by the end of April.
“We chose the UCF area because it’s a great demographic for us to reach and capture coming out of the gate,” said John Velasquez, President of Spoleto USA. “Orlando is also a growing city that can propel our brand to future growth throughout the country.”
Spoleto has plans to open several units throughout Orlando and the surrounding area, all company owned and operated. From there, the plan is to expand into other Florida markets before taking the concept to other states.
The Spoleto dining experience
Spoleto combines the speed of fast casual service with the sophistication and gourmet-quality food of a favorite Italian restaurant. Guests can “Find Their Culinary Freedom” and choose from pasta, flatbreads, salads, and soups and interact with a chef to experiment with a variety of fresh, organic when possible ingredients – including 30 toppings – to create their own recipe to their taste and preference. Guests can also leave it up to the chef and select one of our chef created salads, flatbreads or pastas from the menu. It all takes place in a modern setting with custom features designed to create the perfect experience for food, fun and friends.
“It’s like having your own Italian kitchen and you’re the chef,” said Velasquez.
Spoleto puts a premium on fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients when possible, as well as using healthy cooking techniques.
“We want our guests to have a perfect meal, so we give them the freedom to pick and choose their favorite ingredients,” said Velasquez. “Then our chefs make it come to life by utilizing their skill and passion to produce healthy, delicious dishes with vibrant flavors every time.”
History of Spoleto
Spoleto began in 1999, when restaurateurs Eduardo Ourivio and Mário Chady developed the concept in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brazil is home to the largest population of Italians outside of Italy – more than 25 million people. Italian food is an integral part of the culture in Brazil, but the pair felt that good Italian food was hard to find outside of expensive restaurants. The two developed Spoleto to bring fresh, high quality Italian food to everyone.
The concept quickly caught on – and now has 380 successful Spoleto restaurants in Brazil, Mexico and Costa Rica. In the U.S., Spoleto – My Italian Kitchen is entering the fresh, fast-casual space, and will target end caps, inline and pad spaces between 2,500 and 3,000 square feet.
“At Spoleto we’ve created a unique experience that is completely different from other Italian concepts,” said Velasquez.
Velasquez comes to Spoleto from Domino’s Pizza International, where he worked on international development and expansion in Latin America and the Caribbean.
For more information, please visit www.spoletoitalian.com.
Facts on Spoleto’s first Central Florida location
Owners: Spoleto USA
Address: 12101 University Blvd.
Square footage: 2,260
Seating capacity: 65
Average ticket: $9.00 – $12.00 including a drink