When Luigi Imbimbo and his wife Marianna came to England more than 20 years ago they knew that it would be an adventure.
But the couple could never have dreamed that the adventure would be so successful that two decades later they would be running Colosseo, a popular Italian cafe in Fenny Stratford.
And they certainly couldn’t have guessed that their business would be crowned Citizen Cafe Of The Year 2014.
According to Luigi it is their Italian heritage which makes their cafe our readers’ favourite.
He said: “People like that when they come here it is like visiting Italy.
“When we came to England my wife and I always wanted to be able to go out and have a proper cappuccino but couldn’t find somewhere that did them – that was what inspired us to open a cafe.
“People don’t just come in here for something to eat or drink. They come in to see us if they are going on holiday to Italy, and ask us where they should go or for phrases they should use.
“And when people come in I don’t say ‘Hello.’ to them, I say ‘Buongiorno!’.”
Colosseo won the public vote to scoop the title, when we asked for your nominations for the best cafe in all Milton Keynes. Venues all over the city and surrounding area were nominated – and have all been added to the Citizen team’s list of places to visit!
The Colosseo team have only been in their current base in Aylesbury Street for six months. But that has not been a problem for the many loyal customers, as the cafe used to be based in a different unit in the same street for 13 years.
Luigi, who grew up near Naples in southern Italy, added: “We have still got many of the same customers from when we first opened. The new cafe just means that we can serve even more customers.”
Citizen editor Olga Norford said: “Congratulations to everyone at Colosseo on being voted Cafe of the Year 2014.
“We had a magnificent response to the competition so it’s a fantastic achievement, particularly for a small family business.
“There have been many changes in the cafe industry over the years so all credit to Colosseo which has not only kept up but improved and gained customers.”