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Where Cro­ma Began

Novem­ber 2000 – Those were the days – You could rebuild a derel­ict shell of a build­ing, refur­bish and fully kit out a three floor city centre 140 cov­er res­taur­ant and still have change from a £1 mil­lion. Not much change though, when we factored in Enzo Apicella’s hefty design fees.

Ah, Enzo, cigs and espresso in those days, (and still today in his nineties if truth be told). A legend of West End res­taur­ant design. Set­ting Pizza Express out on its own in the early days, and for­ging a close and endur­ing friend­ship through his work at Pizza Express on South King Street Manchester with our cur­rent team of Andrew, Bob, Kirsty and Michael. All of whom helped make that King St site the busiest, biggest and brassi­est Pizza Express in the coun­try in the late 90s.

Cus­tom­ers queued down the street

When the behemoth decided to eat up its inde­pend­ent fran­chisees it was time to set up Cro­ma in Manchester and take the city by storm. Enough with the P.E. and in with the new, we won New­comer of the Year imme­di­ately and the piz­zas flew out of the ovens as the cus­tom­ers queued down the street.

Since those ser­i­ously fun days there have been no roll outs, no sell outs or buy outs. Just a gentle expan­sion across our favour­ite city. Chorlton in 2005 , Prestwich in 2008 and Dids­bury 2012.

We con­tin­ue to win prizes and the hearts and tum­mies of our littlest cit­izens, fam­ily friendly awards three years on the bounce, at the same time as keep­ing our core and loy­al cus­tom­ers happy, easy as pizza pie when you do so with cool, clear style and exem­plary val­ues. Great food and wine, beau­ti­ful envir­on­ments (thanks Enzo!) and the most effi­cient and charm­ing hos­pit­al­ity.

Cro­ma at the ODEON has rap­idly blos­somed

But you don’t sur­vive in this tough old game without mak­ing sure you change with the times. So when a gal­lant suit­or came ask­ing for a little help and our hand in part­ner­ship we had to bash­fully accept.

Could we be the pro­vider of per­fect piz­zas for the Odeon’s picky punters? We think we could, and have, and will, and can. Res­taur­ants with table ser­vice and full menus at Tun­bridge Wells, Lough­bor­ough and Edin­burgh have been fol­lowed with snappy new Pizza Points in the Traf­ford Centre, Green­wich, Orp­ing­ton, with a new Pizza & Planks premi­um din­ing offer at King­ston and Bournemouth provid­ing a tasty crisp slice of pizza with a glass of Per­oni to enjoy as the open­ing cred­its roll. And guess what? A little more change from a mil­lion notes than we had when we star­ted out. Well, cin cin to that