05:56PM, Wednesday 20 July 2022
Simon and Olivia Perry
A taste of Naples is coming to Maidenhead this autumn as an authentic pizza restaurant prepares to open at a town centre waterside development.
Knead Neapolitan Pizza was founded by husband and wife duo Simon and Olivia Perry, from Flackwell Heath, who say that the opening of their new eatery is a dream come true.
Located at Unit 1 Trinity Place at the Watermark scheme in St Ives Road, the restaurant will boast Neapolitan-style pizzas cooked from scratch.
Plans are in motion to figure out how the new space will be designed with a predicted opening date in the autumn.
Simon said that sustainability is ‘at the heart of all we do’, with a hydroponic farming system enabling the growing of herbs on-site.
Knead is also looking to source ingredients from local sources and climate-friendly farming practices, while the all-important pizza oven will be electric.
The company has been predominantly mobile-based since it was founded in 2018 but has also been serving pizzas out of the Crafty Taproom kitchen in Marlow High Street.
Simon, a former teacher, explained how his love affair with pizza started when one of his friends bought him and his wife a pizza oven.
“Since then we started making our own dough and having pizza parties at our house,” he said. “And when I get into something I get fully invested in it.
“We were at a friend’s wedding and we just got inspired by the food so we just went into it and bought a classic van, put a pizza oven in there and started doing a few weddings and trading at our local pub.”
The pandemic caused operations to slow down and Simon and Olivia (below) had to rely on pizza deliveries to keep afloat, while they also saw their classic van badly damaged in a crash.
Fast forward to 2022 and Knead now has two vans at its disposal and is ‘so excited’ to open in Maidenhead, where it hopes to build ‘a community of independent food and drink offerings’.
“This is going to be our first pizzeria and we are so excited. Having been mostly mobile-based, it’s going to present new challenges but we cannot wait to open our doors and realise a dream that has been years in the making,” Simon said.
“When the weather is good the large outdoor seating area will be a hotspot, making Maidenhead a real destination place.
“It is just great to see a town going through so much change and we want to be part of this. We love what is happening in Maidenhead.”
The opening of Knead will add to a host of other Italian restaurants already trading in the town, while it will also be the latest hospitality venue to open at Watermark following A Hoppy Place and soon-to-open wine and e-sports bar Masters.
“Competition is a good thing,” Simon said. “We are just going to do what has served us really well and that is making Neapolitan-style pizzas to the best of our ability.”
The couple added they will soon be starting a crowdfunding effort to go towards the cost of the new restaurant.
For more information, visit www.knead.pizza
Drivers are being warned to expect severe delays following the earlier closure of the M25 in both directions between Heathrow and the M4 exit.