Franco Pepe represents the third generation of a family of bakers.
The first business was started by his grandfather in 1938, with an operating license granted by the Potestà. Since then,
there has been continuity of work that has not been interrupted even in wartime: the grandfather continued to bake,
authorized to give the ration of 150 g of bread upon presentation of the card.
Alongside his father, Stefano, Franco grew up in what is now the Pizzeria in Piazza Porta Vetere, still in business, the beating heart of his education.
With the experience of two generations behind him, inspired by a new vision of pizza, Pepe in Grani opened in 2012, a place where experimentation, craftsmanship, hospitality, training and attention to the territory meet: a project that has been enriched over the years, based on the passion for dough, for a disk of pasta that tells the flavors of the Upper Caserta area.
The expansion phases of the Pepe in Grani project begin, with a piece that is added and makes the customer reception experience even more special: two rooms on the top floor, designed in line with the aesthetics of the place and made with the precious work of local artisans, to offer the possibility of accomodation inside the pizzeria.
The Tasting room opens, a private space made up of 3 circular tables - one of which overlooks the mouth of the second oven through a porthole-, where it is possible to make a tasting journey by combining the pizzas with the wines of the territory.
The Authentica room is inaugurated, a meeting place and direct contact between the pizza maker and the public, which can have multiple functions: didactic, in-depth analysis, as an exclusive space.
It has been defined as the "smallest pizzeria in the world": a semicircular table with 8 seats merged with the workbench and, behind it, a small wood-burning oven.
Create a functional menu, following the dictates of the Mediterranean diet. which aims to clear pizza from the stereotype that sees it as an "extraction of the rule": it arises from the need to bring health to the table, focusing on the right balance between macronutrients - carbohydrates, proteins and lipids - present in the dish, with attention to dietary fiber, which affects digestion and assimilation times, helping to make pizza an excellent "single dish".
On 2 June, he was awarded the honor of Knight of the Order "of Merit of the Italian Republic" to "reward the merits acquired towards the nation in the field of gastronomy, where he was able to revive, with his project Pepe in Grani, the fate of a territory".
2019 is also the year of reconfirmations (Ambasciatore Del Gusto, Identità Golose, 50Top Pizza, Gambero Rosso, etc.) and important collaborations in which it relaunches "Authentica Stellata" , a format in which the "smallest pizzeria in the world" hosts starred chefs with whom he creates, talks and tells his experiences to an audience of only 8 people. Authentica Stellata proved to be a much-loved format by the chefs, who participated with great energy and enthusiasm at the dinners organized by Pepe. Until before the closure due to the Covid emergency, chefs Nino Di Costanzo, Josean Alia, Gennaro Esposito, Peppe Guida, Ciro Scamardella, Luciano Villani, Rosanna Marziale, Tomaz Kavcic, Antonio Zaccardi, Alessandro Gilmozzi took part in Authentica.
The Authentica room is inaugurated, a place for meeting and direct contact. During the health emergency phase due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Franco Pepe decided not to extinguish the flame of the oven as usual and continued to bake for the less well-off, for the homeless of Caserta and for the elderly guests of rest homes.
June 2, 2020 marks an important date for Franco Pepe: he reopened the doors of the pizzeria to the public and received, in the same hours, the title of Knight of Merit of the Republic for his charitable activities carried out during the emergency in favor of the weakest, withdrawing the knighthood from the hands of the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella at the Quirinale, thus making the title official on 20 October 2020.
In January 2021, Franco Pepe launched the new Proxima project, immediately garnering great interest from various international investors.
The goal is to systematize the entire know-how accumulated in Pepe in Grani di Caiazzo's experience, through great gastronomic research, professional dining room service, a unique and recognizable design and a system strongly identifying narrative and visual elements that combine to make the experience of the headquarters replicable in any other Proxima-branded project that will be activated.