The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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The journey of Amami and its founder, Davide Della Pietra

Kelsey+Werkheiser%2C+Print+Managing+Editor+%2F+The+Bucknellian
Kelsey Werkheiser, Print Managing Editor / The Bucknellian

Located in the heart of Lewisburg, Amami stands as an adored favorite to local community members and Bucknell students and staff alike. This quaint yet bustling café has earned its reputation as a go-to spot thanks to its exceptional selection of food and its warm and inviting atmosphere.  Whether stopping in for a morning coffee or mid-day bite in between classes, you will undoubtedly find Bucknell students in line to order a coffee or gathered at tables enjoying one of the many delicious paninis on the menu. With a variety of fresh ingredients incorporated into all their menu options the cafe offers an escape from other typical chain dining options. Davide Della Pietra, the founder and owner of Amami, took time to share his story with The Bucknellian.

Pietra has been surrounded by food and hospitality his entire life.  Born and raised in Milan, Italy, his family originally owned a café where he grew up. Pietra later also opened his own first café with his mother.  Eventually Pietra sold the café and decided to travel; he moved to South East Asia and then California before he landed in Pennsylvania. Although he comes from an Italian background with a great deal of experience in Italian food, Pietra shares that throughout his travels and working in the food industry along the way. He was able to gain a wealth of culinary insights on the approaches and techniques of other cultures. This now contributes to the blend that shapes Amami’s diverse menu offerings that we enjoy today.  

Upon arriving in Pennsylvania in 2008, Pietra opened The Kind Café in Selinsgrove, PA. His original PA destination had Bucknell students venture out of Lewisburg for its menu. The inspiration for Amami struck when Pietra saw an open restaurant space in downtown Lewisburg and took the opportunity to open an Italian-inspired restaurant catered towards individuals who enjoy fresh, high-quality cuisine.  Pietra’s vision when opening Amami was to create something that people can rely on by creating a sense of comfort, consistency, and care through his food.  He aimed to create a positive culture within the café, between himself and all his employees, that resonates with his customers as well.

Pietra shares that one of the aspects of his crafts that he enjoys most is experimenting.  He explains his appreciation of his background in Italian cuisine as well as the presence of a variety of cuisines that he has found in the United States.  This open-mindedness has given him a platform to be able to experiment with his creations and pull from culinary values of other cultures. He has enjoyed being able to take a simple Italian panini and tweak it in new and exciting ways.  

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His personal favorites on the menu are the Mario and Luigi paninis, which are examples of his inventive spirit.  Furthermore, Amami’s location in an area that is surrounded by an abundance of fresh produce has enabled Pietra to incorporate locally sourced ingredients into his menu.  Weekly farmers’ markets often inspire special menu items, adding local flavor into his offerings.  Additionally, Pietra shares that he is grateful to be located in a college town for many reasons, one of which being that a university such as Bucknell brings students and staff from all over the country and the world together, and he appreciates having the ability to cater to customers of diverse backgrounds.  

Pietra’s love for his businesses stems from the interactiveness that it fosters, both with his employees at Amami and his customers.  He believes that having the desire and ability to create a welcoming, family-style environment is fundamental to success in the food and hospitality industry.  It is always important to support local businesses and celebrate the owners who put so much care and effort into their craft; Amami is no exception. 

 

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