North East pizza firm eyes expansion after securing investment

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A popular North East pizza chain is working on expansion plans after securing five-figure investment from a North East jobs fund.

Scream For Pizza, which has a site in Newcastle’s Sandyford and a mobile van, is set to open a ‘grab and go’ pizza and ice cream shop on Newcastle’s Quayside after winning the £40,000 investment from the North East Small Loan Fund.

The investment, arranged through NEL Fund Managers, will help the company create 10 new jobs to add to its workforce of 25, with the Quayside site set to open in August.

The company is also looking at options for opening further venues elsewhere in the region which will offer a range of different pizza concepts.

Scream For Pizza was founded by Victoria Featherby and Alexandra Walker, who left their cruise ship jobs in 2010 to move to Naples and train at the celebrated La Notizia restaurant under chef Enzo Coccias.

A pizza cooking in the Scream for Pizza van oven (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

They launched a mobile food van from a converted former French army ambulance in Newcastle in 2014 and opened their first restaurant in Sandyford five years later, with a Scream For Pizza concession also established at the Full Circle Brewery in Hoults Yard.

Ms Featherby says: “We’ve remained open and very busy right through the pandemic, and we’re ready now to get on with the next stage of our growth plans.

“The original idea behind the business – to use locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, great quality Italian artisanal products and traditional techniques to create pizza worth screaming for – has never changed, and remains the inspiration for the new Quayside restaurant.

“While it will have around 10 seats, it’s very much based around the ‘grab and go’ concept, with the products on offer tailored to appeal to customers who are on the move or with limited time to find some food.

“There’s not a huge amount of competition on the Quayside for the sort of service we’ll be providing, which we think will really appeal to local office workers on their lunchbreaks, people enjoying a night out on the Quayside and visitors to weekend markets and other city centre events.

“We think there are also lots of opportunities to grow the business by tweaking the Scream concept and rolling it out in different locations, and once the Quayside outlet is up and running, we’ll be looking at how we might put these ideas into practice.”

The Small Loan Fund is part of the wider £120m North East Fund, which is aiming to help 600 companies in the region create around 3,500 jobs.

Jonathan Armitage, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, said: “Scream For Pizza has built up a loyal fan base and a fantastic reputation for great food, and it’s exciting to be part of the next stages of development of such an exciting business.”

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Graeme WhitfieldRegional business editor