Downing welcomes artisan bakery to The Railyard

A new artisan bakery in Cambridge, offering authentic Italian street-style snacks, has launched at Downing’s The Railyard 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 opened at Downing’s development – taking a ground floor corner unit in the complex, which also houses student accommodation in the upper levels.

“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!”

“Ensuring that 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 Cavicchia

Owner at Zio Mario

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

Working with developer Downing, which owns the Railyard, Roberto has transformed the ground-floor unit, creating a relaxing, light-filled, rustic space. Glass partitions enclose the kitchen. As such, customers can watch the lively action in the kitchen. There, a traditional Moretti oven – a key part of any Italian kitchen worth its salt – takes centre stage.

“We’re delighted to have worked with Roberto and his team on this exciting project. It’s inspiring to see Roberto pursuing his passion and with his background in management and hands-on experience in the industry, we’re confident his bakery will be a real success.

“This is a fantastic location for a business like Zio Mario, it is in Cambridge’s new CB1 district centre, situated just 100 yards from Cambridge train station, with great footfall from commuters, local businesses, and from our student residents at The Railyard.  We are witnessing strong demand for this space – and have one last unit to let. We wish Roberto and his team the very best of luck and I for one am looking forward to trying a Farinata for the first time!”

John Clegg

Head of Property Management at Downing