Opening its first venue on Friday 6 June as a pop-up in the City, Pizza Rossa, the award-winning company born out of crowd funding and specialising in gourmet-qualitypizza al taglio – by the square slice – is already set for expansion. The pop-up is located at 4-12 Whittington Avenue, corner of Leadenhall St at Leadenhall Market, London EC3V 1AB, an area with high footfall and visibility.
Pizza al taglio is an Italian urban concept imbedded in the culture of city workers who want to eat quality, tasty, healthier food when time is short. Initially aimed at the time poor workers of London’s Square Mile, Pizza Rossa offers a delicious and healthier product, easy to eat on the go, conveniently available and served quickly – 90 seconds from ordering to eating it piping hot.
During May, the pre-opening #besquare social media campaign invited people to submit pictures of their favourite square item in return for prizes. With almost 500 entries via facebook and twitter, the campaign closes this week just ahead of the opening. This was followed by #lovesquarepizza site poster invitation for a chance to win a £50 voucher to be used at Pizza Rossa, underpinning the message that pizza al taglio is square, not round. On the opening day, Pizza Rossa will give slices of square pizza for free to the first 300 people visiting in response to a local marketing campaign currently underway.
Pizza Rossa was born from the creative thinking of its founder and CEO Corrado Accardi, who says: ‘We aim to set high and new standards in takeaway pizza. Pizza is no longer regarded as junk food, but as a high quality option in the grab-and-go lunchtime market, because it provides a complete meal. Our pizzas will be akin to the quality of food found in an Italian deli, and aligned with gourmet pizzas’.
Already a member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), the company will create at least 15 jobs in the next few months and run at least 12 outlets within five years. Pizza Rossa is entering a buoyant market, where there is plenty of room for growth: the pizza market has grown 4.2% in the past year and is now worth £876m (Horizon, Feb. 2014).
Two permanent Pizza Rossa outlets are due to open in the City between summer and autumn.
The company is ranked as a ‘high potential start up’ by the London Business School Incubator programme, of which Accardi is an alumnus. It is the winner of 2013 CrowdCube ‘Best Start Up of the Year’; winner of 2013 Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s Founders Award; winner of 2013 London Business School ‘Best Business Plan’ competition; and runner up in the 2013 European Business Plan of the Year competition. It raised £440,000 in just 17 days from 119 investors, which represented 157 percent of what the company originally needed – a European record for a start up.