We had the good fortune of connecting with Karlie Ellis ; Morris Ellis ; Michele Campanelli and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karlie ; Morris ; Michele, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Our most important factor behind our success is always sticking to our roots and remembering to continue our family traditions. In order to be successful, we have discovered that we must be true to ourselves and our brand. We know what feels right and even though it may be an obstacle to get to our end goal, we will eventually get there. It is important that we stay focused and keep alive our family recipe for generations to follow so a piece of our hometown is always with us!
What should our readers know about your business?
Cuisine Cugine started in 2020 at the start of the pandemic. We are cousins and have grown up eating Italian food cooked by our family members. There was one specific dish that was unlike anything we could find in the states- The Panzerotto. We wanted to enjoy a glimpse of our hometown but couldn’t find them anywhere in Los Angeles! That made us think.. why don’t we start a company! We wanted to bring this delight and allow others to taste something that was different than anything they ever had before. So this is how Cuisine Cugine was born! We brainstormed different names and ideas and in a matter of a month, created an entire brand. We started testing out the recipe March 2020 and from there we met weekly in order to perfect it! After months of practice, we launched our first menu September 2020, and it has been uphill from there. We have had our share of challenges- we have thrown away many batches of dough, we have ordered the wrong size boxes, we found better tomatoes to use after a couple months of launching- but overall, every challenge has allowed us to learn and grow. It has been an amazing journey so far and we are just getting started!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
It is hard to say during a global pandemic, but we are all born and raised in Los Angeles and are very familiar with the city. We all love the beach and spend a lot of time in Venice so we would definitely say spend a whole day there! You can shop on Abbot Kinney, skate at Venice skate park, play volleyball on the sand, have a drink at Hotel Erwin’s roof top, go to local restaurants in the area. In addition to Venice, Santa Monica is near by- you can hit up the pier, walk on 3rd St. Promenade, take a drive down the PCH. The PCH leads you to some amazing spots down the coast. We love Malibu Seafood, we love taking our dogs to the beach, Lilys has amazing burritos, there are soooo many hiking trails and you can even go wine tasting at Rosenthal’s Winery.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We want to thank our family for always reminding us what is important in life. We are constantly surrounded and supported by our loved ones and that is truly all we could ask for. Our family loves the idea that we are continuing traditions and that we are sharing our love and passion for food. We feel blessed that we are in a position that allows us to bring something so new and different into the states. That’s amore!
Jason Pebbs- @okpebbs