Anima (meaning Soul in Italian) opened on the 1st November 2004. It is the creation of Gino Crolla, which he operates with his wife Emanuela. Gino used to manage the Pizzeria business of Edinburgh’s famous fish and chip shop, L’Alba D’Oro, before venturing into his own business.
L’Alba D’Oro was opened as a fish and chip shop in 1975 by Gino’s parents, Filippo and Maria-Celeste Crolla. They expanded into the next unit in 1978, then bought another unit in 1987, turning it into a small but popular pizza and pasta section. In 1995, another unit was purchased, which was used to make the pizzeria bigger, effectively turning L’Alba D’Oro into two distinct businesses: a fish and chip shop, and a pizzeria.
After graduating with an M.A in International Business from Edinburgh University in 2002, which included a year studying abroad in Verona, Italy, Gino assumed a managerial role in the pizzeria section of L’Alba D’Oro, and immediately starting tweaking with the business model, observing what could be changed to make it even better. It took two years to persuade his parents to break a working formula, and to create a new brand name and concept for the pizzeria. Gino felt it was important to allow L’Alba D’Oro to keep it’s identity as a highly acclaimed fish and chip shop. However, he knew the pizzeria had potential to improve its product offering and service, and to reposition itself more competitively in the pizza marketplace.
By separating the two businesses in November 2004, Anima has now been able to focus successfully and exclusively on offering ‘feel good’ Italian food at great value – the Italian Soul Food concept.
In November 2014, Anima celebrated 10 years in business.