Zio Mario artisan bakery opens in Cambridge

A new artisan bakery, offering authentic Italian street-style snacks, has launched in Cambridge at The Railyard student accommodation development.

Zio Mario is the brainchild of a former corporate executive, Roberto Cavicchia, who left a successful 23-year corporate career to pursue his dream of opening a traditional bakery.

The café has taken a ground floor corner unit in the Railyard complex, which also houses student accommodation in the upper levels.

Roberto said: “Baking is in my blood, my mother’s family in Italy have been bakers for generations and it’s something I’ve always been passionate about. After a long and successful career traveling across Europe as a management consultant, I decided that I needed to follow my real passion and develop the skills to turn my hobby into a full-time role.

“I left corporate life three years ago to learn the practical skills I needed and it’s a wonderful feeling to see the bakery coming into existence and to be able to share great food from my home country with the Cambridge community. We’re really pleased to be bringing some life into this area and to be offering commuters an hospitable, cosy environment, where they can pick up a delicious bite to eat before jumping on their train. We’re also looking forward to offering our fellow tenants – the students who live in The Railyard – a healthy heartening snack!”

Italian street-style snacks take centre stage on Roberto’s innovative menu – with dishes like Farinata, a delicious pancake made from chickpea flour baked in a heavy copper pot – offering an authentic experience. Other treats include sweet, light Italian muffins and Focaccia bursting with Mediterranean flavours.

“Ensuring people are well-fed is a way of showing love in Italy – and that is definitely key to our ethos. All our food has heart – it’s all made in house, from scratch, using fresh, local ingredients wherever possible,” Roberto added.

Working with the property’s owner, developer Downing, Roberto has transformed the ground-floor unit, creating a relaxing, light-filled, rustic space. Glass partitions enclose the kitchen, so customers can watch the lively action in the kitchen, where a traditional Moretti oven – a key part of any Italian kitchen worth its salt – takes centre stage.

Philip Seaman
The author:

Philip lives in West Cambridgeshire in the Parish of Catworth with his wife. He loves eating out which he does for both pleasure and business. His other interests are collecting cookery books and menus, driving his tractor and working on the renovation of their old farm.