Italian couple’s pizza business takes off

Paolo Pragliola and Chiarina Marchesi from Stowmarket

Paolo Pragliola and Chiarina Marchesi of Reggia Pizza - Credit: Reggia Pizza

Two Italians are offering Suffolk towns and villages a slice of Neapolitan life by launching a traditional pizza business.

Stowmarket-based Paolo Pragliola and Chiarina Marchesi converted an old horsebox into a mobile kitchen and launched Reggia Pizza during the third national lockdown.

Paolo, 37, works in the insurance sector, and Chiarina, 35, is an events & marketing manager for a local business.

Reggia Pizza mobile stall

Paolo Pragliola and Chiarina Marchesi's converted horsebox mobile pizza stall - Credit: Reggia Pizza

“We wanted to bring a genuine pizza experience to Suffolk,” they said.

The couple — who have two young daughters and grow vegetables in their back garden and bake their own bread — met while at university. 

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Paolo is originally from Caserta in the Campania region of southern Italy and Chiarina has family in neighbouring Lazio. They both spent their childhoods and early adulthood living in the south and Tuscany. 

They said they wanted to support local businesses by using seasonal produce from local farmers who use sustainable methods — as well as traditional Italian ingredients. 

A traditional oven-baked pizza

A Reggia Pizza being cooked in a traditional oven - Credit: Reggia Pizza

“Cooking as well as the pairing of flavourful authentic Italian ingredients has always been our passion,” they explained. 

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The handmade pizzas are cooked at 450 degrees to give the bases their distinctive charring and light texture. 

They also “honour the classics” by keeping their toppings simple.

“The warm reception that we have received from our customers over the last six weeks, has been overwhelming. We’ve very much looking forward to continuing cooking up a storm into the summer and beyond,” they said.

The business uses sustainably-sourced wood for the pizza oven and compostable packaging. 

Since launching in late March, Paolo and Chiarina say they have been welcomed with open arms by locals and fellow small business owners. 

They are already booked to attend several events in the second half of 2021 including the Stowmarket Beer Festival (July 2 to 4) and the Primadonna Festival (July 30 to August 1) — both of which will take place at the Museum of East Anglian Life. They have recently started a collaboration with Hadleigh Cricket Club.

Reggia Pizza serves takeaway Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas in various locations across mid and west Suffolk on a weekly basis. 

The mobile pizzeria is also available for pop-ups and private catering. 

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