Startup Case Study: Il Corno

DPhil student in Italian culture at the University of Oxford, fellow of the 2022 OUI Entrepreneurs Fellowship and member of the 2023 IDEA Peer mentoring program, Fanny Clemente is the creator and founder of Il Corno, a new Oxford-based food and beverages business, introducing new dining and aperitif concepts into the British market. 

Named after the typical Neapolitan amulet worn to bring good luck and prosperity and originating from Naples’ renowned customs of hospitality, Il Corno has recently opened in Oxford’s historic Covered Market.

Intersecting the British market’s escalating interest in Southern Italian food and wine, and more specifically in products from the Campania region, Il Corno’s unique selling proposition is based on two of the most characteristic street foods from Neapolitan poor cuisine:

Panuozzi, a sandwich made with pizza dough that can be enriched with different fillings, and taralli, a salty snack food with a toroidal shape, which comes in different flavours and is made from flour and animal fat or olive oil.

Stemming from Naples’ unique culinary tradition, made with simple and inexpensive but delicious and highly nutritional ingredients, Il Corno offers a new solution for your meals and aperitifs. The new eatery also offers a gateway to Neapolitan culture which is based on conviviality as its main life principle and revolves around the constant search for good fortune, as symbolised by its favourite renowned amulet, the red horn. 

Fanny's journey to becoming a founder has involved much entrepreneurial training at the University of Oxford, including the IDEA (Increasing diversity in enterprising activities) 2023 Peer Mentoring programme. We asked Fanny to share a few highlights on the programme with us, and what being a peer mentee involves:

It was a refreshing experience to be surrounded by so many women entrepreneurs and gain a fresh perspective on different topics. Overall, my experience with IDEA has exceeded my initial expectations, offering not only personal and career development but also a network of brilliant women, many of whom I now consider myself fortunate to call my friends. From day one the Peer Mentoring programme has been nothing but a stage for my voice to be heard and one where I could hear so many incredible voices, with dissimilar interests, perhaps, but such relatable challenges, aspirations, and dreams. A few words to describe the women that run it and those who took part in it: passionate, fierce, inspiring, tireless, relentless, in fact, unstoppable.

If you would like to learn more about the Peer Mentoring programme take a look at the dedicated webpage, and make sure to pop in to Il Corno soon; where good food meets good luck!