Throwing pizza was not in Peter Samaha’s original life plan but we can all be grateful that he changed plans and opened Pizza Di Rocco.
You’ve certainly made your mark on Abu Dhabi and beyond. How did it all start?
I’ve been in the business of pizzas for eight years now but my background is in finance and I have a degree in Russian. It was my love of good pizza and trips to Italy that got me into this business, and the gap in the delivery market in Abu Dhabi too.
What made you choose the location on the main artery exiting Abu Dhabi City centre?
Pizza Di Rocco is fundamentally a delivery business. We prepare the pizzas quickly, cook them quickly and are able to deliver quickly due to the location, which provides access to all corners of the city. It’s about speed.
It must be difficult maintaining the quality of pizza over the years?
I have a brilliant team of chefs, many of whom have been with me since the get go. Continuously training is a must and the only way to make sure that Pizza Di Rocco pizzas and other Italian dishes are authentic, is to head to the pizza heartland of Naples. There, we attend pizza exhibitions and visit suppliers’ homes, where we dine and the chefs get to learn the authentic Italian tricks of the trade.
Is Pizza De Rocco your only food brand?
No. Our portfolio includes Gino’s Deli too, which serves up its famous authentic panuozzo, using homemade ingredients and premium Italian flavours. We are also always experimenting with new ideas and hope to launch some new concepts in the future
Undoubtedly, you’re an entrepreneur and clearly a successful one. How do you give back to the community?
We are always looking for ways to engage with our community – and it’s something I love to do. We have supported various youth teams with meals, sponsored an amateur football team, collaborated with other Abu Dhabi businesses and social groups to provide meals to health workers, and frequently collaborate with other concepts on the food scene – more recently we have partnered with other homegrown entrepreneurs – on our dessert menu you’ll also find items from local brands Monica Bakes and Cheesecake Lab, who we have worked with to expand their sales infrastructure and offer operational support to help them grow.
If this has got your mouth watering, head over to pizzadirocco.com and put your tastebuds to the test