Valeriana De Berardinis came to the UK from Italy in 2005, where she was running her own award winning pizza restaurant in Abruzzo.
Val said: “Cooking is something which always came naturally for me from an early age.
“I am fascinated by the chemistry behind it – especially with the bread making. I have always enjoyed developing and perfecting recipes and understanding why things work in recipes the way they do.
“I tried a variety of vocations before Farretti, undertaking business studies, and later studying computers and programming, but ultimately, I came back to cooking and baking as I found it the most interesting.”
Initially Farretti started as a bakery producing little organic spelt biscuits (‘farro’ is the Italian for spelt). Then it progressed into supplying local shops and farm shops with ciabatta bread.
Val said: “I now sell direct to customers from my Langham Stables Kitchen and customers either just call in or order online.
“I continue to make the ciabatta bread and now also offer a range of traditional Italian specialities such as tiramisu. A further change is that now my pizzas can be enjoyed hot at the Langham Brewery Tap Room where they serve their fantastic ales and beers and often have live music.”
The lasagna is Farretti’s most popular dish and comes in two varieties - meat and vegetarian and both can be gluten free. This is followed by Aubergine Parmigiana, a rich vegetarian classic dish from Southern Italy which can be enjoyed either alone or as a side dish.
Val uses organic free range meat from the Hungry Guest Butcher in Petworth and locally sourced fresh fruit and vegetables.
She said: “I am happy that the ‘food miles’ on my dishes is low and that my customers are enjoying seasonal, local and great quality ingredients in their favourite, wholesome dishes.”
For Christmas Val is planning on selling Italian hampers, featuring a selection of Farretti goodies and other Italian delicacies that she has sourced throughout the year.