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14th January 2021

A coffee with… Achille Travaglini

In case you missed it, we are opening two new Redbrik branches in Fox Valley Shopping Park and on Ecclesall Road, Sheffield. Each of the branches will host Raffina, our new coffee deli concept, led by Operations Manager, Achille Travaglini.

We chatted to Achille to find out more about his career before launching Raffina and his passion for the hospitality industry.

Q: Can you tell us about your life growing up?

A: I grew up in Pescara in the Abruzzo region in the central Italy, working in our family bar from a very young age. I remember making cheese with my grandfather and crushing grapes with my feet to make wine! My family always cooked homemade food, and I learnt to understand each product: milk, flour, grapes etc. This unlocked my passion for food and hospitality and made me realise it was what I wanted to do in my career.

Q: What roles have you held in your career?

A: I have travelled as a chef for many years, working in Europe and Asia, in luxury hotels and restaurants in a range of roles from Executive Chef to F&B Manager to eventually qualifying as one of the youngest Head Chefs in Italy at 25. In 2011, my wife and I moved to the UK. I worked as a manager for an Italian restaurant chain across Sheffield, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Cambridge, launching new menus, managing costs and coaching the teams at each restaurant to get the very best results. I later worked in West London as a Group Executive Chef and F&B Manager for Melia Hotels International, managing over 200 members across thirteen restaurants.

Q: When was ‘Raffina’ born?

A: I moved to South Yorkshire with my wife at the beginning of 2020 to work for a Sheffield hotel, which closed soon after due to the first national lockdown. I felt lost and began to work on recipes at home whilst expanding my network. I met Mark Ross, and we discussed ideas for the coffee and deli concept he wanted to create. It was clear from the start we had an aligned vision to produce high quality, artisan-style food and find the very best people to create it.

Q: What is your role at Raffina?

A: As Operations Manager, I am responsible for overseeing both Raffina sites at Fox Valley and Ecclesall Road, creating menus and training new staff. I am passionate about developing each dish with influences worldwide; for example, our Acai Bowl is inspired by Brazilian cuisine.

Q: What can we expect from Raffina?

A: Raffina is going to be very unique to Sheffield. We want to provide five-star quality coffee, food and service in an idyllic environment that can’t be found anywhere else. We will serve a range of dishes from our Brekkie Bap to our Superfood Salad, produced with locally sourced ingredients and plant-based where possible.