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‘We are praying a deal is struck that will not affect trade’ - Pizzeria tells of no-deal Brexit fears

PUBLISHED: 11:18 14 November 2018

Paul Jackson and Paul Williams from Oakfired at the Royal Oak, Beccles. Picture: Nick Butcher

Paul Jackson and Paul Williams from Oakfired at the Royal Oak, Beccles. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

A no-deal Brexit could have a devastating impact on one of Suffolk’s most celebrated pizzerias.

Oakfired at The Royal Oak, in Beccles, has made a name for itself serving authentic Neapolitan pizza.

Earlier this year the restaurant earned international accreditation from the Associazione Versace Pizza Napolentana (AVPN) in Naples allowing it to officially claim to serve ‘real Neapolitan pizza’.

The Ravensmere pizzeria, which was started by Paul Jackson and Paul Williams in 2017, is one of only three restaurants in the UK to earn the accolade and as such must stick to the precise rules of the Decalogue.

Paul Jackson and Paul Williams from Oakfired at the Royal Oak, Beccles are now the third restaurant in the UK to recieve a certificate to legally claim it offeres 'Real Neapolitan pizza'
Picture: Nick ButcherPaul Jackson and Paul Williams from Oakfired at the Royal Oak, Beccles are now the third restaurant in the UK to recieve a certificate to legally claim it offeres 'Real Neapolitan pizza' Picture: Nick Butcher

Ingredients must be sourced exclusively from the Italian region of Campania, namely San Marzano tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella.

A no-deal Brexit could make acquiring the ingredients much harder and may even lead to the owners hiring a refrigerated van to transport the produce themselves.

Mr Williams said: “Having come so far and achieved the AVPN accreditation, we are not prepared to let this lapse.

Paul Jackson and Paul Williams from Oakfired at the Royal Oak, Beccles are now the third restaurant in the UK to recieve a certificate to legally claim it offeres 'Real Neapolitan pizza'
Picture: Nick ButcherPaul Jackson and Paul Williams from Oakfired at the Royal Oak, Beccles are now the third restaurant in the UK to recieve a certificate to legally claim it offeres 'Real Neapolitan pizza' Picture: Nick Butcher

“However, as the days tick by it is becoming ever more important for us to have a contingency plan in place when it comes to buying the ingredients required by the Decalogue.

“We are praying a deal is struck that will not affect trade and that it will be business as usual after March 29.”

Mr Jackson takes on the role of ‘pizzailo’ at the restaurant - crafting pizzas in front of diners at the huge oak-fired Valoriani oven.

He perfected his craft during an apprenticeship in Naples and believes a no-deal Brexit could hinder the spread of authentic Italian cuisine in the UK.

He said: “During the time that I was training with the AVPN, it became apparent that they wish to spread the love of Neapolitan pizza even further across the world, with the UK being one of the key countries of interest to them, as they tackle this mission.”

“Having only three restaurants in the whole of the UK that are serving up authentic pizza, is not enough for these passionate food guardians, but their plans could come to nothing, if Brexit makes it impossible for eateries to follow the Decalogue’s requirements to the letter.”

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