Episode 3

Published on:

13th Apr 2021

Hungry to Learn with Stefano Marzano, Founder of MightyMeals

Born into a family of chefs, Stefano Renato Marzano of Fairfax, Virginia, knew that food and beverage was in his blood. He started working at his parents’ restaurant at the age of 12, and by age 15 had made his way into the kitchen as a cook at his family’s fine dining Italian restaurant, Osteria Marzano. Stefano wasn’t the best employee; in fact, his dad and sister suggested that he should experience other kitchens. He went on to intern at Tosca, working for free for six months, training under their chef, while still working at Osteria Marzano. He then worked at Cities Restaurant, but was fired after only four months. This ended up being a blessing in disguise as it was just the motivation he needed to focus solely on taking MightyMeals to the top! 

When he was just 20 years old, MightyMeals was born after meeting his co-founders, Dan Graziano and Alex Lebonitte. Together, they shared a vision of creating a meal prep company that bridged the gap between quality and convenience. But it still took Stefano 18 months to buckle-down, get serious, and lose his ego. He didn’t follow the traditional route; however, he worked extremely hard to turn his passion for food into a successful career.

Stefano is proud that MightyMeals creates consistent, delicious, healthy meals in-house, from scratch. His passion is providing a top-quality product that is affordable and helps people better themselves and their health. Stefano runs the culinary team at MightyMeals, but also enjoys helping direct the marketing and social media side of the business.

Highlights of the episode:

  • Getting into the food business
  • Going from ‘rebel kid’ to entrepreneur
  • Working for Matteo Venini
  • Meeting Dan Graziano and Alex Leonitte, the co-founders of Mighty Meals
  • Starting Mighty Meals with $5000
  • Year 1 of hustling in the kitchen—cooking, packaging, and delivering a thousand meals per week
  • Struggling with fast growth
  • Using the crisis of the pandemic to give back to the community—MightyMovement
  • The future of dining

Connect with Stefano Marzano:




Show artwork for The NoVA Business Podcast

About the Podcast

The NoVA Business Podcast
A series of interviews with Northern Virginia's most influential business leaders.
The NoVA Business podcast is a stream of interviews with NoVA's leading entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives.

Northern Virginia is America’s best-known secret. With Ranking #1 in the nation for workforce and education and #3 for business friendliness, NoVA is a hotspot for the world’s top talent and entrepreneurs. There's no question why companies like Amazon and Capital One call NoVA home for their headquarters.

On this podcast, we will share the inspiring stories of leaders who are shaping the community around us. Listen to the challenges they have overcome, the lessons learned, and the vision they have moving forward. Get ready for a series of epic conversations!

The NoVA Business Podcast is sponsored by The Business Benefits Group.

About your hosts

Jessica Du Bois

Profile picture for Jessica Du Bois
Jessica Du Bois is a consultant and advisor for employee benefits, working with dozens of companies in the D.C. region. Creating The NoVA Business Podcast became one of Jessica's goals after working with many of the incredible business leaders in Northern Virginia.

The podcast is a collection of stories that tell us the trials and successes that have formed the community around us. No gimmicks. No paid interviews. Just real-life storytelling of the friends and leaders that inspire you.

When Jessica isn't interviewing for the podcast or advising on benefits, you can find her coaching boxing classes or training for her next half marathon.

Derek Winn

Profile picture for Derek Winn
As a corporate health care strategist, Derek has had the unique opportunity to partner with hundreds of leading and admired businesses across Northern Virginia. Given his role, he has been able to witness and support businesses during the best of times as well as the worst of times.

These stories are the fuel for the Northern Virginia Business Podcast - the only podcast focused exclusively on the founders, leaders, and heroes in our own backyard of Northern Virginia.

These stories are intended to captivate and inspire those who continue to shape the landscape of Northern Virginia.

While he spends the majority of his time working in Fairfax, he has the most fun at home in Warrenton with his family.