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Casa Mia voted Best Italian Restaurant and Best Alfresco Area for Casa Mia Millennium at the 2007 Leeds Restaurant Association Awards

Since 1998 when the Casa Mia Coffee Shop was opened in Chapel Allerton, Leeds, it has been non stop for owners, Francesco and Marta Mazzella.  A hugely successful husband and wife team, Casa Mia has grown into a multi-faceted business with over 180 staff.

The Business

It all began with purchase of an existing business in a leafy suburb of Leeds when the Mazzella's purchased a small Italian coffee shop. Within months of the purchase, the failing business turned into a bustling pizza and pasta restaurant with 64 covers.  Within six months the covers had increased to 140 with the extension of al fresco dining under a trendy canapé with plenty of outside heating.  Almost unheard of in Leeds, a new craze was born and people from all over the city visited the Coffee Shop to sample a little taste of Italy al fresco!

Opening early in the morning, the Casa Mia Coffee Shop attracts the post school drop-off trade for coffee and pastries, a popular business lunch crowd with seating inside and out and equally popular evening clientele with regularity. 

"We created a little taste of Italy within a small but busy community," explains Francesco Mazzella.  "Somewhere for people to meet, drink and eat, inside and out, at any time during the day or evening with good quality fresh food at affordable prices."

Within a year of the Coffee Shop opening, the Mazzella's portfolio doubled with the launch of Casa Mia Grande.  A brand new restaurant, again in the heart of Chapel Allerton, Grande focused on the fine dining experience.

A superb selection of fresh fish and seafood together with meat and pasta dishes, fine wines and delicious desserts made this soon to be award-winning restaurant extremely popular from day one.  With a catchment area that extended for miles, Casa Mia Grande has become renowned for its excellent cuisine and it quickly became apparent that more space was needed.  The restaurant was expanded in 2000 to accommodate 120 covers and to-date continues to grow from strength to strength. 

In 2003, the Mazzella's took the decision to open the bar right next door to Grande.  A natural progression for the business and a necessity to service extremely busy weekends at Grande, Bar Ischia has become a popular venue for after work cocktails.

At this point, Leeds City Centre was beckoning the Casa Mia phenomenon and so Casa Mia Millennium was born in July 2004.  With a stunning café bar décor, Millennium services the bustling city centre pace of life.

Built on 3 floors, the restaurant comprises a coffee bar, deli and licensed bar on the ground floor with extensive al fresco dining.  Visitors can grab a brioche, pasta dish, freshly cooked pizza or simply a cappuccino to eat in or take away.  The second floor is home to a stunning a la carte restaurant offering a superb selection of fresh fish and truly delicious Italian cuisine in elegant and comfortable surroundings.

Not content with the restaurant business alone, Casa Mia expanded into outside catering with the clear intention of offering customers a bespoke service.

"We meet the customers, discuss their individual requirements and design the catering to meet their needs and budgets," continues Francesco Mazzella.  Casa Mia Outside Catering continues to expand at a phenomenal rate.

Initially, to complete the Casa Mia business portfolio, is www.shop.casamiaonline.com, a web site offering customers a taste of Italy direct to their doors.  From fine wines, olive oils and balsamic vinegar to food hampers and pasta, the web site has been designed to provide customers with exclusive products that they may have experienced in Italy but have been unable to find here in the UK. 

Food and Wine

And if all that isn't enough, Francesco Mazzella makes purchasing meat, fish, seafood, vegetables and wine his personal responsibility.

"Quality and flavour is essential.  I have an excellent network of importers who I trust to provide me with all the essential food and wine that gives Casa Mia its edge," explains Francesco.

In addition, own label wines are imported directly from Italy, where the Mazzella's have struck up working partnerships with several vineyards including the Chianti and Pinot Grigio grapes.  Later this year, Casa Mia Wine Importers will be established to import Italian wines into the UK so if anyone is interested in finding out more about the huge selection of wines available, please contact Francesco Mazzella direct.

In fact, so renowned is Casa Mia for its fine cuisine and wines, that in response to numerous customer requests, the Mazzella's now run a series of Master Classes and Wine Evenings teaching groups of individuals about Italian wines, cheese and the preparation of popular dishes.

 

Finally, when asked what makes a good restaurant, the Mazzella's answer - good people followed by consistently good food. You can't have one without the other!

Casa Mia Outside Catering, Unit 9, Buslingthorpe Green Trading Estate, Off Meanwood Road, Leeds LS7 2HG.  Tel: 0113 2623322.  Fax: 0113 262 3329. Email: francesco@casamiaonline.com

 

 


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