With so many people renovating their homes, a brick oven is becoming a must-have. The Marra Brothers make custom ovens for all-sized kitchens
Unlike many businesses, Marra Forni, a company specializing in production of custom brick pizza ovens, has recently experienced a significant uptick in sales over the last several months. The business, run and founded by Francesco Marra and his brothers, is picking up steam as fast as their ovens are producing food for the hungry mouths of their clientele. Francesco Marra, a native of Naples, Italy, came to the United States more than a decade ago with his brothers and mother. He is equally skilled in cooking ingredients as he is in running a business. His secret recipe for success lies not just in his ovens, but in the strong goals he carries for his business, a classic sense of first-generation American determination, and a great love for his Italian heritage. “As an immigrant you have a responsibility to promote and support your country overseas,” he says, “and this was one of the ways the Marra brothers express and supported our country; by bringing that Italian tradition here in making ovens in the United States.” The ovens his company constructs are capable of producing between 200 to 250 pizzas within the course of an hour. This is naturally something that has attracted many people looking to renovate their kitchen or add to their backyard during social distancing. “Because of the virus people started to remodel their home, do some construction, and we saw a big spike in residential ovens,” Marra says. Despite the boom in residential brick ovens, that is not their sole market, “The majority of our business today is commercial. We have a very diverse profile of clients. We sell from mom and pops to the big, glamorous, high-end hotels like the Marriott,” says Marra.
Photo credit by Baroness Italian restaurant, MD
Founded in the start of the last decade, Marraforni has strived to make the best possi-ble brick ovens readily available to anyone who desires to have a good slice of pizza. Based just outside Washington, D.C., the business has had experience in both residential and com-mercial construction for their ovens, though their business over the last few years has been primarily based in the latter.
“We ship all over the world to 23 different countries on five continents. Our goal is to become a worldwide company expanding into different markets,” says Marra. Despite being almost completely American based in production, there is one significant piece Marra Forni imports from outside the States. “We’re an American company, and we’re very proud to be making our product in the United States. There is one crucial item that we import from Italy, which is the refractory brick from southern Italy that is stamped with our last name, Marra,” he says. “It allows our customer to cook as high as 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, giving them the consistency and speed of the brick oven cooking solution.” Marra Forni’s products are customizable, with technical and aesthetic options. “You can imprint your name, your logo, we can do different patterns. It can be as fancy as gold, copper, steel – as plain as a red Ferrari. To the façade piece we have steel or stainless steel. Then you also have a different type of combustion because our oven can be grout, gas, or a combination of both, and even electric now,” he says. More than anything, these ovens are just a means of delivering top-tier food paired with Italian tradition and ingenuity. When asked what he hoped the consumers took away when eating a pizza from one of his ovens, Marra had this to say: “Pizza is happiness. People love to socialize next to our oven, to cook, have fun—our product is aspiring for endurance and longevity.”
Photo credit Longo Restaurant