Founded in 2002 by John and Stephanie Reitano, Capogiro Gelato Artisans is poised to ramp up its presence in a major way, working with investors to expand the brand beyond its home base into commercial and retail markets nationwide.
To spearhead this exciting initiative, the Reitanos are thrilled to officially introduce two dynamic industry veterans to the company — chef David Katz, Capogiro’s new Culinary Director; and Tom Pittakas, Capogiro’s new Director of Operations.
A native of the Jersey Shore, Katz comes to Capogiro from the burgeoning Philadelphia-based brand Honeygrow. As Culinary Director, Katz led the growth of the multi-unit concept from four regional locations to 28 nationwide, overseeing everything from recipe development to ingredient procurement.
Prior to Honeygrow, Katz worked as a regional sales manager and company chef for Creekstone Farms, an all-natural beef producer based in Kansas. From 2008 to 2012, he owned and operated Mémé, an award-winning New American restaurant in Philadelphia. Katz possesses a unique combination of deep logistical knowledge and culinary credibility that will help Capogiro freshen its current non-gelato offerings and prepare for the challenges associated with an ambitious scale-up.
Pittakas, a fellow South Jersey native, is a seasoned front-of-house presence and beverage expert who will oversee both the service approach and bar programs for Capogiro as the brand’s Director of Operations. He comes to the company from a comparable role alongside Katz at Honeygrow, and previously worked as the beverage manager for Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga’s family of restaurants in the Philadelphia region. PIttakas’ well-informed approach to customer service and a sharp eye for detail will keep Capogiro current on all fronts.
As Capogiro’s ambitious expansion plans come into greater focus, Katz and Pittakas are making an immediate impact on-site at Capofitto Forno, serving as a open-to-the-public test space for their latest food and drink developments. Chef William Kells (Mémé, URBN, Wokworks), working closely with Katz, is now overseeing the day-to-day operations at the Old City restaurant, introducing exciting new Neapolitan-style pizzas and much more. Look out for new signature cocktails, a brand-new bar menu and small-but-smart selection of shareable seasonal Italian plates, all of which will be rolling out in the coming months.
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