Magnus Joye is firing up the huge pizza oven in Sartorelli’s new site in Oxford’s Covered Market when we meet.
Having only opened earlier this month, the new pizzeria is already doing a roaring trade and sold out of dough on Sunday.
“Someone wanted prawns on their pizza so we directed them to Pershore Seafoods next door and added them on”
“We made 85 pizzas on Saturday as well so business is building really fast. People seem to really like us being here and The Covered Market is such a fun place to be. It’s got a really great atmosphere,” Magnus tells me as he starts spinning the home-made sourdough pizza bases.
Isn’t it still a bit risky opening a daytime pizzeria? “Yes and a lot of people still associate pizza with dinner, but the word is getting out and lots of people come here on their lunch breaks – students and office workers – and the weekends are absolutely packed from Thursday onwards,” he says.
With a basic margherita selling for £6.50 you can see why. What’s even more enchanting is that Sartorelli’s allows their customers to bring their own toppings. With a basic pizza menu of five options, if you fancy something extra that’s not on the menu you can just bring it along and they will add it for you.
“The Covered Market has got more of a food hall vibe these days So people can buy a beer and a pizza and then sit right outside”
“Someone this week wanted prawns so we directed them to Pershore Seafoods next door and we added those on,” Magnus says non-plussed. “And another customer wanted onions so bought some from Bonners fruit and veg which is just there at the end,” he says pointing. “It works really well and is what The Covered Market is all about.”
Saratorelli’s is the brain child of Christian and Luciana Gyuricza of Church Hanbrewery in Church Hanborough and created up in lockdown when beer sales plummeted.
The pizzeria delivery service on the industrial estate soon took off as deliveries of Hanbrewery pizza and beer became very popular.
Church Hanbrewery also opened The Teardrop in The Covered Market – a beer and bottle shop selling their own, as well as other local beers, and then The Market Cellar Door, next-door selling wine with Eynsham Cellars.
So when the third unit in the row, which used to be Nash’s Bakery, came up for rent the Gyuricza‘s grabbed it and Sartorelli’s opened earlier this month.
So why here in Oxford? “We looked at lots of other sites in Woodstock and Kidlington but when this one came up it suited us so well because we already knew how it worked here.”
“I don’t think we will stop here, But we will keep it local”
And what does Magnus think about The Covered Market‘s continuing metamorphosis? “It’s much more food related these days. It’s got more of a food hall vibe which is really good. So people can buy a beer and a pizza and then sit right outside,” Magnus says pointing at the tables.”
As for the future with the Church Hanborough site still open, and Oxford now well underway, will Sartorelli’s keep expanding? “I don’t think we will stop here,” Magnus says. “But we will keep it local and won’t grow too big too quickly because we want to maintain the same levels of quality that we are known for.”
Sartorelli’s at Oxford’s Covered Market is open Tuesday – Sunday from 11am to 5.30pm. Go to https://oxford-coveredmarket.co.uk or ring 01865 244407.