Your brand is your public identity, what you’re trusted for. And for your brand to endure, it has to be tested, redefined, managed, and expanded as markets evolve. Brands either learn or disappear.

– Lisa Gansky

Establishing a brand, is not an easy task. It takes time, dedication and vision.

In November I interviewed Antonella Ceglia from La Roma Restaurant, now they have embarked on a new venture, one which is resurrecting memories from their past.

Mangia e Scappa

Eat and Run A La Roma production
Take Out window in #Ottawa featuring Italian comfort food.
Mon – Fri from 11am-3pm

#LaRomaAndRun #mangiaEscappa

Instagram: @mangiascappa

The story behind Mangia e Scappa is very heartwarming can you please share it with our readers?

La Roma’s original location at Somerset/Bronson had a green ‘barn’ door located by the kitchen at the back. My dad used to sell specials from that window during the day. He would make things like mini pizzas or sandwiches – simple things, street food. I remember thinking back then that that was pretty weird but kind of cool – he would take the order, make the food and handle the cash transaction. Very much like visiting a food truck.

In the last 2 or 3 years we had started to talk about that back door again, how neat it would be to bring it back in a more modern way. We wondered how it would be received but thought it would be a positive addition to our lunch service and offer a really cool vibe and European feel to the street.

We were right, it’s been so well-received and guests just love the ability to walk right up, order something rustic and delicious and either take it back to work with them or enjoy it right here on the street. Some regulars will even walk over, order an espresso and drink it before they head back to the office. It’s so great and reminds me of many places I’ve visited in Europe.

I love the logo for Mangia e Scappa. It is simple and timeless – but evokes a feeling that I can’t quite put into words. How did you come up with it?

We wanted the name and the logo to be rustic and casual and to also pay homage to our Italian roots. One day my brother just blurted out ‘Mangia e Scappa’ and it was perfect. It means Eat and Run.

The logo itself is rustic, yet contemporary inviting and approachable. Mangia e Scappa feels homey and European, a casual extension of our full service restaurant where the quality of the cuisine is still paramount, but it’s packaged and presented in a thoughtful yet casual way.

Even though people these days seem to have less time for lunch breaks, a growing number are seeking healthy alternatives to traditional fast food. How does Mangia e Scappa feed into this demand?

One of the main reasons we wanted to do this was because we realize that (unfortunately) people just don’t always have the time to sit and enjoy an extended lunch. Mangia e Scappa is the alternative because even though you may not have the luxury of time, you can still enjoy a delicious, home cooked meal.

We have the ability to serve excellent quality food without compromising on the ingredients and still be able to serve it to our guests in under 10 minutes and under $10. It’s no secret that our menu is carb heavy but it’s good quality and made daily and to me, that’s everything.

What are some customer menu favorites so far?

Our Pampanella sandwich is definitely one of the most popular sandwiches we have. It’s our response to the well-known porchetta sandwich, but more savoury in my opinion. It’s a dry rubbed pork shoulder with ground paprika and chilli and then slow cooked. It’s served on toasty bread and is seriously, delicious.

We also sell an amazing cannoli. Our house made shell is crispy and the ricotta filling has just the right amount of orange zest and sweetness. It’s the perfect treat with a coffee or after lunch.

“We eat with our eyes first”
– Barry Popik

Style is paramount in the hair, beauty and fashion industry, but it doesn’t stop there. The Instagram page for La Roma and Mangia e Scappa are absolutely amazing. How important is visual marketing for the restaurant industry?

What we present to our viewer or follower is meant to be representative of what we do and who we are.

We believe that posting pictures of the food we make and how we make it, is important. It allows us to have an approachability and realness that traditional marketing and advertising doesn’t allow. It’s also important for us to display our personality and so we add stories and pictures of the staff and family. People want to see this realness in a business and showing off our gang is important to me because we’re just such a great team, with creative ideas.

La Roma has been around for so long and we sometimes get stereotyped as being a super old school, traditional restaurant. The ability to market our business through social media allows us to show our followers that La Roma is indeed youthful, energetic and creative. That we have evolved and continue to evolve to a more casual fine dining eatery.

Will Mangia e Scappa be open all year round?

Absolutely. We will update the menu, offer different specials and continue to grow the Mangie e Scappa umbrella.

Can you let us in on any new special menu items for this summer?

We add a special or two every week. But lately we’ve been using fresh pesto almost daily. The local basil is amazing this time of year and fresh is always best!

They care!

Since opening the take out window, La Roma has made a conscious effort to eliminate plastic as much as possible. All the take out containers, sandwich wrappers and even the forks are paper products or compostable based materials.