It all started when…
Our idea was born, as good ideas often are, over a glass of wine. We had marveled at these little trucks for years in Italy — first encountering one in an alley that our car should not have been driving down, which is its natural habitat. We would always point and laugh with glee seeing the Piaggio Apes drive down the road, usually driven by a large man, sometimes two small men, and on one notable occasion, two men and a dog sandwiched between them. When we realized that on top of all the other things we were bringing home from Italy, that the Ape could be one of them, it was a no brainer — it would be a wine truck
We faced so many hurdles getting her across the ocean. “No one has ever tried shipping one of these before,” said the man who ran the vehicle processing office at the military base we were associated with in Italy. I was dumbfounded — NO ONE? Nope, no one. He didn’t know if it was possible. So, we read the regulations, poured over online forums, and found that it was possible.
We were supposed to pick up the Ape the day our son was born. We had made plans with the sweet Italian Brunello family, her previous owners, to pick the truck up just a few weeks before Christmas. But our little guy had other plans, and I went into labor that morning. The Ape would have to wait until, three weeks postpartum, we picked her up, fresh little Fox in tow.
But it didn’t stop there. Customs was skeptical of our DIY cleaning job, and while the movers packed up our tiny Italian apartment, Tyler and I scrubbed the bottom of the Ape while Fox slept in his carseat nearby. We used every last cleaning supply that we owned to get her clean, including toothbrushes. We got to know every inch of the Ape, and were still skeptical that it would get through customs. They loaded her onto the moving truck and we said a little prayer for her to cross the ocean safely.
And then there she was, in Liberty, Missouri one day — delivered to my dad’s address because we still didn’t have a place of our own stateside. We got to work, my dad doing all the mechanical tune-ups, Tyler and I planning all of the renovations, and outsourcing jobs like the aluminum work, paint job, sign installation, graphic design and wood work to friends and friends of friends.
Our little Fizzolino business was born through plenty of sweat and tears, and is a constant reminder of our crazy but fun life in Italy. You don’t realize how small she is until you see her in photos, but she’s tough — towing far more weight than you would guess though not very quickly. We’re passionate about Italian wine, or literally whatever drink you want to serve out of her, and super excited to import a little of our family’s history to our hometown of Kansas City.