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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 and Kirsty. 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.