What does Dello Mano mean? It’s one of the most common questions we hear in our Dello Mano New Farm and Dello Mano Tattersalls Arcade Store shops, right after “How did you make this brownie so good?” and “Can I please have another?” If you type “Dello Mano” into Google Translate, it will yield “of the hand,” a correct though slightly non-idiomatic phrasing. However, the meaning of Dello Mano goes much deeper than mere translation.
Many newcomers to Dello Mano wonder why we chose to give our business an Italian name.Neither of us are Italian by blood, and our signature product — luxurious, elevated brownies — is hardly a quintessential part of Italian pasticceria. Our premium cakes stray equally far from the Italian model, as do our newest product: light, French-inspired savoury tarts. Though we are not a strictly Italian bakery, we wanted the name of our shop to pay homage to the love and passion imbued in Italian food culture. It was this love and passion, experienced first-hand,that first inspired us to launch Dello Mano.
We often tell the story of the moment the inspiration for Dello Mano struck us — it has become a defining element in the Dello Mano origin story. In 2005, noting how quickly our daughters had moved from babies to young girls, we put our lives on hold and got on a plane to Italy. Our corporate jobs in multinational food companies left us longing for a connection to the handmade, genuine food that came before plastic packages, preservatives and pretend flavors. We loved to wander through Rome and explore the high-quality small-goods shops that pepper the city as liberally as convenience stores and coffee shops appear elsewhere.
In one shop, a salumeria hung all around with hams and sausages and heady with the smell of spiced meat, we observed a scene that, though quotidian, would become indelibly etched in our minds. The butcher, dressed as if for a ceremony in a crisp white shirt, gently sliced a small portion of prosciutto and wrapped it in white paper. He passed the wrapped prosciutto to the customer on the other side of the counter with as much pride as if he were presenting a carefully-chosen gift, and the customer accepted the offer with equivalent gratitude. We felt that we were watching a special relationship between the shopkeeper and the customer, one that blossomed thousands of times a day in the epicurean city of Rome.
As we lounged on the Campo de’ Fiori that evening, we remembered the moment in the salumeria. After years in processed food industry, we were entranced that a real, sustainable food business could be comprised of gift-like transfers of handmade goods between the artisan who made them and customer who would enjoy them. That hand-to-hand transaction was what we wanted to evoke when we chose the name Dello Mano. Our food is made, given, and received “of the hand” — and besides, we liked the sound of those two round O’s.
Back in Australia, we got to work on developing a product that we could share with our customers with the same amount of pride that we saw on the face of that Italian butcher. The result of those months of careful testing was our Luxury Classic Belgian Chocolate Brownie. Though we launched our signature product at a time when brownies were all but unknown in Australia, our dedication to making and serving everything by hand soon attracted attention, followed by a genuine and enduring support from the friends of Dello Mano.
Eleven years after that evening in Rome, we continue to dedicate ourselves to the philosophy behind the meaning of Dello Mano. We have expanded our offerings beyond brownies and cakes to light savoury baked goods, including our delicious French tarts, all of which are entirely crafted by hand. Thousands of people have visited our beautifully-appointed shops in Merthyr Village, New Farm and Tattersalls Arcade, and hundreds of thousands more have enjoyed Dello Mano brownies shipped to their homes worldwide. For the countless people who have enjoyed our delicious food and warm service, Dello Mano means much more than “of the hand.” The name translates to decadence and luxury, but also to love, compassion, and the individualised attention associated with a family business. We hope you’ll stop by and add Dello Mano to your vocabulary today.
Dello Mano Brisbane Stores
New Farm – Merthyr Village – Shop 3 84 Merthyr Rd. New Farm T:07 3358 2801
Tattersalls Arcade – Shop 8 215 Queen St. Brisbane T: 07 3210 1168
Both stores trade 7 days per week.