Building a food manufacturing facility from scratch would be a daunting project even for someone with a strong background in this industry. So imagine how challenging it was for Ivan and Elaine Pezzoli whose only previous experience was as a restaurateur in Brazil.
It all started when Pezzoli told his neighbor in Brazil that he was moving to the United States. The neighbor told this to his brother-in-law, who had a background in corporate infrastructure, and had previously worked with businesses with gluten-free food products. Knowing Pezzoli had an exceptional recipe for gluten-free cheese rolls and that such a product could be a big success in the United States market, the neighbor’s brother-in-law proposed a partnership. “It was at that moment that elaine’s* was born,” Pezzoli says.
Quickly, though, the partners realized the uphill battle they faced. Pezzoli was committed to making the rolls “the way Grandma cooked them on the farm using a wood oven and fresh starch and ingredients,” but with no food manufacturing experience, he had to do a lot of research to determine what kind of facility and equipment would accomplish his goal. Eventually the decision was made to build a facility from scratch rather than lease an existing building and have to adapt it to their demanding specifications. Thus, construction began in 2014 in Apopka, FL on a 10,000-square-foot building.
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