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