GB•PIZZA•CO’s founders have always been passionate about food. Rachel Seed is an award-winning chef (Best Gastropub in the South West, UK Food Pub of the Year) and a former food writer; Lisa Richards is a journalist who has travelled the world reviewing hotels and restaurants.
GB•PIZZA•CO started life in the back of a rusty 1974 VW Campervan. Rachel and Lisa travelled up and down the country with a “portable” wood-fired oven, serving their pizzas at farmers’ markets, festivals and outdoor events.
During the Olympic summer of 2012, they served pizza al-fresco on Margate’s Harbour Arm. After huge success over the summer, they found a site on the historic seafront and opened their first permanent restaurant.
The restaurant on Marine Drive, on Margate’s beautiful seafront, now in its fifth year, continues to amass accolades from well-respected and revered publications. In January of 2017, the restaurant was completely refurbished, using GB•PIZZA•CO’s trademark pink neon and greys.
Fast-forward to November 2017, and the opening of GB•PIZZA•CO Didsbury, with Grant Ashdown with his hands on the peel. Grant has worked in the fashion industry for nearly 20 years. On a chance trip to Margate – well, who hasn’t been? – Grant and his partner, Kally, headed to GB•PIZZA•CO after reading about the restaurant on sheerluxe.com. Both have travelled extensively for their work, and both are passionate restaurant-goers, always seeking out the best places to eat wherever they are in the world.
“Even months later, after our visit to Margate, I just couldn’t stop thinking about that pizza,” explains Grant. “It was amazing, and unlike anything I’d eaten in the UK before. I’d reached a crossroads with my job; the industry has changed so much in the last five years, and I just wasn’t enjoying my job anymore. Something had to change. I’d met an amazing woman, who lived in Manchester, and I began spending more time there. We sought out GB•PIZZA•CO-style pizza, but just couldn’t find it. It got me thinking…”
So Grant sent Lisa an email, introducing himself, how he’d come about the restaurant and basically told her in a few short paragraphs that he wanted to open a GB•PIZZA•CO in Manchester. After our first meeting, when we all hit it off, we realised things were going to happen, and happen very quickly.