Experienced franchise support team focused on growth
While MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company is a new pizza franchise, our franchise support team is experienced and accomplished. MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company is led by the same team that turned Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt into the world’s largest self-serve frozen yogurt franchise. We have more than 100 support staff at our headquarters in Encino, California, so a lot of energy and resources are available to franchisees as they find locations, get open, and ramp up operations. Here are the key members of our leadership team:
Amit Kleinberger, Chief Executive Officer
Amit Kleinberger is the CEO of Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, the world’s largest self-serve frozen yogurt franchise. He has led Menchie’s from 1 store to close to 500 stores. Menchie’s was recognized in Forbes Magazine on “America’s Top 100 Most Promising Companies” list, and Amit, on the list of “America’s Most Promising CEOs.” In 2013, Amit was featured twice on CBS’s Emmy award winning television show “Undercover Boss”. Amit’s entrepreneurial experience prior to frozen yogurt was in owning businesses in retail, wholesale, health care, and real estate. Amit is a veteran and served prior to his business career as an active duty commander and sergeant in an infantry combat unit.
Inspired by his travels throughout Naples, founder Amit Kleinberger sought to bring friends together through the purity, passion, flavor, history and art of Neapolitan pizza. After all, pizza is not meant to be just eaten, it is meant to be shared, enjoyed and celebrated, fostering real human connections, friendship and togetherness. Pronounced Mee-Dee-Chee, MidiCi means, “You tell me!” in Italian, reflecting the concept’s core value of people telling each other about their lives and fostering friendships. The restaurant was designed to promote genuine interactions and reflect MidiCi’s mission statement, “We Bring Friends Together.” The brand believes that People are the best thing that can happen to anyone. Paying homage to the way Neapolitan pizza was made over 300 years ago, MidiCi uses traditional wood-fired ovens hand-built in Naples with an internal temperature of 800-1,000 degrees to bake pizzas to perfection in just 90 seconds.
Peppe Miele, Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Research
Peppe Miele is an acclaimed Los Angeles-based restaurateur and chef. Born in Naples, Italy, he grew up in a city renowned for its culinary traditions. The art of cooking that is synonymous with the Neapolitan heritage has been an integral part of Mr. Miele’s success in the food industry. As a restauranteur, chef and advocate for the classic Neapolitan pizza, Peppe is a standard-bearer of uncompromising culinary integrity. The food of Naples has been the overarching theme in his critically acclaimed restaurants, commercial cooking classes, training workshops and media appearances.
Mr. Miele is the President of the American Delegation of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN) the mission of which is to promote the culinary tradition of the Neapolitan pizza by certifying food establishments who uphold the rigorous criteria of AVPN. Under Mr. Miele’s direction, the American Delegation has seen a significant increase in membership of restaurants and pizzerias certified to serve authentic Neapolitan pizza. Mr. Miele organizes and teaches cooking classes as well as training workshops for future restaurant owners, gourmet chefs and restaurant companies who seek to serve the classic Neapolitan pizza. He has spearheaded the organization of vendors whose products are used to produce the traditional Neapolitan pizza.
Mario Vollera, Senior Chef and Assistant Director of Culinary Research & Development
Born in beautiful Rome, Mario Vollera naturally developed a passion for pizza and wine from an early age. He started his pizzaiolo career in Rome, Italy, and extended his experience all around Europe as a pizza chef and manager of various successful venues such as Carlo’s (England) and Pappa Grappa Pizzeria (Sweden). In 2008, he moved to Los Angeles and became manager of the famous Antica Pizzeria (one of the best 20 Italian pizzerias in the USA – Wine Spectator, GQ magazine, LA7) and joined the Headquarters of VPN (Verace Pizza Napoletana) in America to protect and promote the art and tradition of Neapolitan pizza.
Co-owner of the pop-up restaurant Barbershop Ristorante Italiano in 2012, together with Chef Walter, the reviews were raving about their tour around town. Since 2013, Mario has been co-owner of the popular pizza spot on Abbot Kinney, South End.