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M’ama Napoli Brings Authentic Italian Flavor to Winter Park

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Locals are finding a little bit of Italy by the corner of Orlando and Minnesota avenues with the recent opening of M’ama Napoli. The bakery deli features traditional Neapolitan recipes and hard-to-find imported goods that have been in growing demand since the doors opened on June 25.

“The idea for M’ama Napoli came from a deep passion for authentic Neapolitan cuisine and a desire to share this cultural heritage with others,” said co-owner Lilly Solla. “Customers can expect a warm, welcoming atmosphere that feels like home.”

M’ama Napoli opened on June 25 at 965 S. Orlando Ave. after a nine-month renovation of the former CodeBlack IT computer services location.

Solla runs the business with her husband, Luigi Diana. The couple met while working at the Diana family restaurant in Naples that Luigi and his brothers managed. “We ran a successful traditional Italian bakery and cafeteria where we honed our skills and perfected our recipes,” he said. The contacts and experience earned from 30 years in the culinary industry made an ideal start for a new business in a new country.

Co-owner Luigi Diana prepares signature espresso as customers browse the pastry cases.

Diana and Solla moved to America in 2022 to make a new life for their son, Anthony, and to be closer to Solla’s cousin in Virginia. They settled down in Central Florida for the weather and diverse population; however, they had a specific area in mind for their business. “We chose Winter Park for its vibrant community, appreciation for diverse culinary experiences, and its picturesque setting,” said Solla.

Friends helped with the nine-month renovation of their 965 S. Orlando Ave. storefront, which formerly housed CodeBlack IT computer services. And daily operations are managed by Reina Gutierrez who works the counter, helps with orders, and acts as an occasional interpreter for the couple. But restocking inventory is an ongoing priority.

Winter Park residents Danny Pesci and David Salazar enjoy breakfast in the dining area.

“The pastries sell out pretty fast,” Gutierrez said. “Luigi bakes everything and delivers two batches – one in the morning and one in the afternoon.”

Diana spends most evenings at an offsite facility, prepping bakes for the next day. Plans are to eventually hire additional staff and develop a web page once day-to-day operations hit their stride.

Pastries are baked every morning and delivered twice daily to keep up with demand.

The main counter is divided into three sections: classic pastries from cannoli to sfogliatella (lobster tails), fresh breads, and a deli with pizza and sandwiches made with imported meats and cheeses, which are also stocked. Opposite the counter are grocery shelves filled with imported pasta, canned and jarred goods, even Italian-made cleaning products.

Handmade sandwiches and pizzas use fresh breads and imported meats and cheeses.

“Our shop stands out from other delis and grocery stores by exclusively importing products from Italy on a weekly basis,” said Diana. “This ensures that our customers enjoy the freshest, most authentic Italian flavors. From artisanal cheeses and cured meats to unique pantry staples – every item is carefully selected to bring a true taste of Italy to Winter Park.”

Imported Italian cookies, pasta, and cleaning products are among the items on the grocery shelves.

“It’s all Italian,” said David Salazar, who moved to Winter Park from Brooklyn and spent a Tuesday morning enjoying a coffee and pastry with friend, Danny Pesci. “I’ve been hoping for something like this for as long as I’ve lived here.”

“For me it’s the seeds on the semolina bread,” said Pesci. “The small things show the quality.”

Reina Gutierrez is assisting co-owners Lilly Solla and Luigi Diana, but additional staff will be brought on in the coming months.

M’ama Napoli is open Tuesday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. An Instagram account offers occasional photos and updates, call 321-972-6525 for information about available items and ordering.

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