Blog / November 29, 2023 / Jeff Stumpf / UPDATED February 16, 2024

CloudKitchens customer spotlight: Florentine Legacy

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    Founded in 1945 in Columbus, Ohio, Florentine Restaurant has been a well-established local favorite, serving up classic Italian meals for decades. Known for their spaghetti and meatballs as well as traditional lasagna, the Penzone family has been cooking up their signature dishes for generations. Nick Penzone, a third-generation Penzone, grew up in the kitchen cooking with his father and grandfather, learning how to prepare each of their family’s home-cooked recipes. Through creating their beloved signature sauces, house salad dressing, and fresh pasta dough, Nick Penzone connected more with each of his family members every day at their restaurant.  Unfortunately in 2016, Florentine Restaurant had to close its doors, being unable to stay afloat with the cost of its longstanding brick-and-mortar location. 

    Before Nick Penzone decided to make the switch to CloudKitchens, he was unsure how he would ever be able to reopen his family’s restaurant. On a mission to continue his family’s legacy, he knew he needed to adapt to a changing market, to bring back their restaurant. He started selling jars of their family’s famous pasta sauces and dressings, then came across the idea of delivery-only. Once Nick found ghost kitchens, he was able to shift their longstanding business to delivery-only and continue the family legacy. 

    Ghost Kitchen spaghetti

    Here’s what Nick has to say about his CloudKitchens experience and why he recommends partnering with us:

    Q: Why did you join CloudKitchens?

    A: During the pandemic, long story short, my wife and I were looking for a solution to continue with the family business. We eventually came across the ghost kitchens concept and we saw that CloudKitchens was a great, low-cost solution that allowed us to continue on without a traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant.

    Q: How has your business grown since starting with CloudKitchens?

    A: My restaurant business has continued to grow. We’ve been getting noticed much more on delivery apps year over year. Now we’re operating on multiple top delivery apps, leveraging CloudKitchens onsite support to manage each incoming order. We’ve been learning what works with delivery app promos to help continue growing our business.

    Q: What was life like before CloudKitchens? What is it like now?

    A: Before CloudKitchens, we had to close our doors on our brick-and-mortar location. Now we’re back up and running like we never left, continuing the Penzone family tradition, serving up classic Italian dishes to Columbus locals.

    Ghost Kitchen lasagna

    Q: Would you recommend CloudKitchens to others in the restaurant industry? Why?

    A: Yes. It’s a quick start-up and low-risk. CloudKitchens provides delivery support to help with the logistics of each order. You can actually ring a bell and the runner will come and take the food to the delivery driver. So we never have to wait in that space, which is really nice.

    Now Nick can continue his family’s legacy, while also testing out new dishes to bring new traditions of his own to the Florentine Restaurant. He’s rebuilding his family’s restaurant brand online across top delivery apps, while selling pasta sauces by the jar, just like his father always wanted. He hopes to pass the business on to his kids someday. The Florentine name is still very much alive in Columbus, thanks to CloudKitchens.

    Ready to make the switch to delivery-only?