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Our T-shirt competition


Earlier this year we challenged our teams to design artwork for some new t-shirts for staff in our pizzeria to be in with the chance of winning a Gozney Rocc box (a small pizza oven). We know there is a lot of untapped artistic talent amongst our teams, so this was the perfect way to showcase their skills.

Any Franco Manca employee could enter the competition, from kitchen porter, to pizzaiolo, to our central team. They needed to enter with a piece of artwork which really captured the spirit of Franco Manca. The art could depict anything from our Neapolitan heritage, to our seasonal ingredients, and of course our sourdough pizza which is made fresh on site daily using our sourdough starter.

The entries were judged by a panel of our most loyal customers, as well as members of our team.

The winners were Vincenzo Montanaro, pizzaiolo at Stoke Newington, Andrea Tomarchio, Supervisor in Islington, and Gio Pagano our Training and Development Manager.

The 3 winning designs have now been printed on our brand new T-shirts – look out for them in our pizzeria. Read the winner’s stories below:



Vincenzo started his Franco Manca journey in our King’s Cross pizzeria, learning the art of the pizzaiolo.

Originally from Naples, which he describes as ‘the city of the sea, the heat, the sun’. He came to London with the goal of learning new skills and developing his experience, and has now moved to our Stoke Newington pizzeria, where he is currently in training to be Second Pizzaiolo. He says his home city taught him ‘many things, including the art of laughter and making people laugh, it taught me to find every solution to every problem. I am always curious about new things about pizzeria and refreshment. As they say: you never stop learning’.

Describing himself as having ‘the passion of pizza in my blood’, Vincenzo is also a lover of both art and music. In his spare time he is a rapper, and manages an Instagram page dedicated to mainstream and emerging Italian rap.

The inspiration for his piece emerged from his love of art. He says ‘I love paintings more than anything, because for me they are a shared journey between the painter and those who observe the painting. So, I imagined something that could be used in the context of hospitality mixed with ancient art and what is better than a “cheers”, or a pizza, or a menu for customers to read?’

Visit Vincenzo and try his pizza at our Stoke Newington pizzeria, or look out for his T-shirt design in all of our pizzeria.


Originally from Ancona, Italy, Andrea has been working for Franco Manca since 2016. He started as a pizzaioli in Broadway Market. After a year, he decided to develop his skills further and became a waiter, and a few months later was promoted to become a supervisor at our Islington pizzeria, where you can now find him.

Andrea describes his passion as travelling the world, meeting people from different cultures and challenging himself with new experiences. He is also a spot lover and swims, climbs and cycles in his spare time.

He also likes to visit museums, galleries and street art in his spare time, and says his curiosity for art ‘has followed me since I was a child, I often made small wood constructions and drawings’.

The inspiration for his piece came from here in London. ‘One day I was walking through Brick Lane Market when an old Turntable caught my attention so I decided to buy it. After few days I thought to draw a turntable-pizza in Enzo Apicella style with a watercolour pencil.

I believe that the pizza chef is like a musician, both keep people funny especially on the weekends. This is a sound of a margherita pizza.

I hope you like it and thank you Franco Manca for giving me the opportunity to express my art’.


Gio is one of our longest standing Franco Manca team members. Joining the Franco Manca family when we only had our first four pizzerias as a Restaurant Manager, he has since been an Openings Manager, an Area Manager and is now our HR and Training Manager. When it comes to all things Franco Manca, Gio is a pro.

He grew up in the USA, where he was born to Italian parents. He first learnt the basics of hospitality in Sicily before moving to London 15 years ago. In his own words, ‘always liked to live on an island’!

Gio says that with the Italian blood running through him, his two main passions in life are football and food. Getting Italian food right is very important, and he says he detests modern twists on classic dishes such as pineapple on pizza ‘it just doesn’t look, taste, or feel right!’. This was the inspiration for his piece which you’ll see on our T-shirts – a pineapple behind bars.

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