On October 14, 2016, Liguanea Plaza welcomed a new business into its fold, Pizzaland. This restaurant offers dining, takeout and delivery options. The owners are husband and wife team Freddy and Lenni.
Both Freddy and Lenni are both from Italy, born in the city Bergamo. Both have cooking backgrounds. Freddy went to culinary school where he was trained in pizza making. Lenni was taught how to cook by her father and grandmother.
This culinary couple have travelled extensively to the continents of Africa, South America and other parts of Europe. They both first set foot in Jamaica in 2001 when they came on a visit. However they decided to settle in Jamaica in 2014.
Port Antonio in the parish of Portland was the place in Jamaica that Freddy and Lenni chose to settle down permanently and began to build a house. The couple loved the beauty of the parish. However, the location was not conducive to their business aspirations so they decided to move to Kingston.
In January of this year the couple started a small operation which was located on Shortwood Road. They operated there until June. A more ideal location was found in the Liguanea Plaza and Pizzaland was born.
The name Pizzaland was given to the restaurant to reflect the authenticity of the Italian food served. Freddy and Lenny say that everything is freshly done like in Italy. They use no preservatives. No oil is used in the making of the pizza dough, the way it is done in Italy. Nothing is fried. They make their own tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes. Only extra virgin olive oil is used in making of the pastas. These factors separate them from their nearby competition.
Pizzaland is open everyday of the week. The couple have a staff complement of three, including a cook in training. They deliver within a 15 minute radius of the restaurant. Freddy makes the pizzas and Lenni does the pasta and sandwiches. Pizzas are done normally in 15 minutes, 20 minutes if demand is high at that moment. Pastas will take 30 minutes since they are created at the time an order is placed.
Like any business there are challenges to overcome. Accessing adequate supplies of fresh produce is one. In the future, Pizzaland would like to expand its in house dining options.
Freddy, who is more fluent in English than Lenni, loves Jamaican food like jerk chicken, although he misses the food of his native country. He said that Jamaica has given him his first experience in starting a business, something that he says would not have been possible in Italy because of higher start up costs. He sees Jamaica as having alot of untapped business opportunities. Freddy and Lenni see themselves being in Jamaica for a long time to come.
(c) A. Pierre Sobers 2016