Aziz and Angie Longou are the proud owners of Red Vespa in Solon, IA. With 26 years of experience in the restaurant industry, most of which have been in the Corridor area, Aziz is a veteran in the restaurant industry. Through managing a French bakery in the Twin Cities for a friend, Aziz learned much about bread making, dough, and pastries.
As other opportunities arose to manage different kitchens and restaurants, Aziz eventually came to co-own Martini’s and Vito’s in Iowa City and Vito’s in Cedar Rapids. However, his lifelong dream was to open an Italian restaurant, and authenticity was essential.
A major part of this authenticity comes from Red Vespa’s Associazione Pizzaiuli Napoletani (APN) and Vera Pizza Napoletana (VPN) certifications.
APN is an organization whose goal is to preserve the centuries-old art of pizza making from its inception in Naples, Italy. To achieve this certification, Aziz traveled to New York for 10 days to learn the art of pizza making from APN’s president, Roberto Caporusico.
VPN Americas is the American Delegation of the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana, an international non-profit organization founded in the mid 1980's by a group of Neapolitan pizzaiolis (pizza makers) seeking to cultivate the culinary art of making Neapolitan pizza.
Both APN and VPN certifications are committing to only use specific ingredients in the making of the pies at Red Vespa, such as fine Italian 00 flour and San Marzano tomatoes. House-made mozzarella cheese, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt top the other fresh, simple ingredients that make Red Vespa’s Neapolitan pizza a true taste of Italy.