Enormous haul of GNOCCHI worth $30,000 stolen from Brisbane restaurant

Enormous haul of GNOCCHI worth $30,000 stolen from Brisbane restaurant
Enormous haul of GNOCCHI worth $30,000 stolen from Brisbane restaurant

A truck-load of gnocchi worth $30,000 has been stolen in a daring midnight heist that has restaurant owners boiling with rage.

Brazen potato-pasta bandits took off with the vehicle as the delivery driver was carrying a box into the cool room of the Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers restaurant in South Bank, Brisbane, on Sunday night.

When the driver returned to the loading dock, the Toyota Hilux refrigerated truck and its precious cargo had vanished without a trace.

Now restaurateurs Ben Cleary-Corradini, 40, and Theo Roduner, 37, are calling on the community for help as fears grow the product could make its way to the black market.

They say anyone who has any 'true and correct' information which leads them to the gnocchi-nappers will be rewarded with Italiano Spritz and bottomless bowls of the delicious gnocchi.

'It's a shame for the gnocchi. I really feel sorry for the poor gnocchi. I know that sounds ridiculous but a lot of work went into making it,' Mr Cleary-Corradini told Daily Mail Australia.

'I hope the truck is returned but for god's sake I pray they treat the gnocchi with care. Please don't throw it out, it's a beautiful fresh gnocchi.'

The Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers chain prepares the Italian favourite at its 'Gnocchi Love Factory' in Everton Hills and then delivers the food to its eight restaurants in Brisbane with its own trucks and drivers.

They planned to drop off stock in the truck at three locations on Sunday, but were targeted on the first delivery run at South Bank in what is potentially Australia's largest gnocchi heist.

'We don't know if it was an individual or a group,' Mr Ben Cleary-Corradini said.

'The South Bank Corporation has shared local CCTV footage with the police, but so far they've come up with nothing.'

The best mates and business partners hit the street in the surrounding areas hoping a gang of kids may have taken the vehicle for a 'joy-ride' and dumped it by the side of the road.

But the search has come up empty handed.

The theft is a bitter blow in the wake of the Covid pandemic which devastated much of the country's hospitality sector.

'It's not only about the loss of the vehicle and the gnocchi, but it's the replacement costs, the time cost and the extras with insurance,' Mr Ben Cleary-Corradini explained.

'We've had to go out and spend thousands renting a replacement vehicle for this month because we have to make deliveries tonight.

'These costs are exactly what we are trying to avoid right now just as we are starting to recover from the Covid lockdowns.'

The bizarre robbery comes after another Italian restaurant in Brisbane was targeted last year. 

Two thieves broke into Beccofino at Teneriffe in the inner city using an angle grinder and stole and array of produce.

Among the haul was cheese, cuts of meat, salami, ham, prosciutto, and a large amount of pasta.  

Queensland Police told Daily Mail Australia that investigators are 'seeking anyone with relevant information or with dash cam footage from that area around midnight on Sunday (December 5) to contact police.' 

How two best mates dubbed the 'gnocchi brothers' went from scraping together their savings to open a stall at a farmers market to building a multi-million dollar restaurant empire  

A pair of best friends who call themselves the 'gnocchi brothers' have gone from running a business out of a market tent to building a multi-million dollar gnoccheria. 

Ben Cleary-Corradini, 40, and Theo Roduner, 37, scraped together the little money they had from their savings so they could sell classic Italian bowls of gnocchi from their two-person tent at a Brisbane farmers market in 2015.

'I remember the feeling of having butterflies and not being able to sleep the night before. Theo was super excited as we packed as much gnocchi as we could possibly fit in the eskies in our beat up old Ford Econovan,' Ben told Daily Mail Australia.

As business quickly took off, Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers was born.

Fast forward six years, the duo are now on track to make $10million in sales after opening Australia's first ever gnoccheria with seven restaurants.

'We now go though about 1,500 kilos of potatoes every week - so about 78,000 kilos per year. Theo always tells me that one day we should buy ourselves a potato farm,' Ben said.

In 2015, the pair scraped together the little money they had from their savings so they could sell classic Italian bowls of gnocchi from their two-person tent at a Brisbane farmers market

In 2015, the pair scraped together the little money they had from their savings so they could sell classic Italian bowls of gnocchi from their two-person tent at a Brisbane farmers market

Their multi-million dollar business idea sparked from their personal lives.

Ben used to watch his Nonna Ileana hand roll authentic Italian pastas from her tiny kitchen in Wollongong, south of Sydney, while Theo grew up under the watchful eye of his Swiss-Italian father Alfredo, an accomplished Italian fine-dining chef.

The friends crossed paths when Ben was working in a boutique Italian food and wine importation business while

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