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A restaurant? Country-wide stalls? What's next for Lasagneria

PUBLISHED: 15:09 30 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:09 30 January 2019

Paolo Grazzini wants to expand Lasagneria. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Paolo Grazzini wants to expand Lasagneria. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

An Italian man who brought his family's generations-old recipes from the hills of provincial Florence to Norwich market has outlined his ambitious next steps.

Paolo Grazzini travelled to England in 2013 hoping he would spend a couple of years learning English before returning home.

However, when a market stall became available he took the leap and opened Lasagneria in 2016 – and his authentic recipes have drawn crowds ever since.

Now he hopes to open a restaurant and even expand his fine dining catering opportunities.

“In Italy we will drive for two hours and spend 60 euros to get the food we want, we don’t mind how long it takes because we want our dish cooked a certain wait,” Mr Grazzini explained.

Paolo Grazzini at his Lasagneria stall. Photo: ArchantPaolo Grazzini at his Lasagneria stall. Photo: Archant

“That’s what I wanted to bring here. The cooking and recipes I learned from my parents, the techniques they would use to prepare a bolognaise, they all take a long time to prepare but result in the best quality,” he said.

“Some customers object to the fact that my prices are higher than you would get in a supermarket, but when you’re using the best ingredients and preparing it for five or six hours that does raise the cost.”

Mr Grazzini is eying expansion after two years on the Norwich market.

“I would love to open a restaurant,” he said. “But, the costs are just too high and I would need to have that income before I launched a new site.

“One of the directions I’m looking at is doing more fine dining catering events, as well as looking for a partner to help me expand.

“I’m looking in all directions when it comes to expansion – I don’t have my mind settled on a particular direction that might take yet, but I know I want to do something more than have the one stall. Maybe I’ll have stalls all over the UK, who knows?”

Mr Grazinni said that in that event he did open a restaurant, he would hire a member of staff to continue running the Norwich stall.

“I’d also like to expand my vegan menu,” he said. “I’ve started seeing a real rise in demand for my vegan lasagne, and I’d like to look into more recipes and dishes which can cater to that.”

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