The Pizza Cafe Restaurant in Newton Abbot
It all began in 1987 when Mark, after spending years managing restaurants, working as a chef and galavanting around the world sampling street food, settled with his family in Devon. He had a vision of creating an innovative, family-friendly restaurant, with delicious food, great drinks and strong values.
He opened the premises in 1987 on Queen Street in Newton Abbot and while his wife Sue got to work on designing the restaurant, he came up with The Pizza Café’s first ever menu. It was also in this year that Mark’s first staff member Steve joined him at the age of 16, to help wash the dishes and serve £1.95 pizzas.
Using the flavours he discovered on his travels, Mark didn’t want to abide by any of the traditional pizza-making rules and instead decided to pepper his menu with unconventional, exciting ingredients from around the world. The Pizza Café was an immediate hit with the locals and customers began pouring in to the tiny restaurant.
Mark soon formed strong connections with the local community, supporting Rowcroft Hospice, The Helen Foundation and many a local raffle. Baked bean baths, leg waxing, cooking competitions and fancy dress have all been common sightings at The Pizza Café over the years.
Fast forward to the present day and Steve is still in the kitchen (now Restaurant Manager) while Mark’s son Michael has taken over the running of the place – which mostly consists of trying to persuade Dad to part with 32 years worth of menus, Christmas decorations and paperwork! The staff is comprised of a team of committed, hard-working locals, many of whom have dedicated over 20 years to The Pizza Café, all contributing to what is affectionately called ‘our big dysfunctional family’!
The dough recipe hasn’t changed and nor have many of the customers but The Pizza Café continues to grow and evolve with the town that it feeds.
The vision lives on.