LOVENpresents pizzeria and artspace is based in Norman Road, N15. They sell neopolitan style pizzas from a wood fire oven along with local beer, wine and cocktails. They opened a second venue in Hale Village at the end of last year, LOVENbakery, which is a cafe during the day selling great coffee and breakfast pastries, a selection of pizza-metro is sold by the slice at lunchtime, and the space turns into a wine bar and restaurant by night. Evening dishes include freshly made pasta dishes, steaks, rack of lamb, sea bream and stuffed aubergine.
Kate Allison and Fabrizio Interdonato started LOVENpresents about four years ago, just after they first met.
Fabrizio, who is originally from Sicily, is all about the food and described himself as a ‘food lover’. He explained that it is a way of life for many Italians, as soon as he wakes up he is thinking about food. Kate explained, ‘The heart of what we’re doing is inspired by Fabrizio.’ Fabrizio’s sister ran a restaurant when he was 13 and he later opened a restaurant with his brother in Italy before moving to London.
Kate has a background in architectural and interior design and sculpture and is responsible for the concept and design of both spaces.
The idea behind the pizzeria and artspace is to have everything influenced or designed by local artists or designers. Their cushions and textiles are designed by Tottenham Textiles, a local sculptor and designer made the tables and they try to have a new exhibition every six weeks. As well as eating in the pizzeria you can also order food via Uber Eats.
Before moving into the pizzeria they ran a pop up, a couple of evenings a week, by the canal on the Tottenham and Stamford Hill border. Their tiny hand-built wood fire oven, could cook just one pizza at a time. Kate said, ‘That was when we realised how amazing the community was in this area because we had our neighbours and local people turning up. Everyone was so excited about what we were doing… We met a lot of people and that [reaffirmed] how much we liked Tottenham and the area.’ The pop up was really popular and they fast outgrew the space due to demand – one evening, they had to cook 150 pizzas! They eventually opened an outdoor pizzeria at Styx bar and were the first food operator in the space.
They found being outdoors difficult in the winter and they started doing delivery in the local area to support the business. A year later they found the indoor space on Norman Road. Kate told us ‘It was one of those things where you walk in to somewhere and I just knew 100% it was the right place… The big roof, the mezzanine and a perfect space for a kitchen – I thought this is it.’
When they first opened the pizzeria they did a catering event at the Engine Rooms, in Tottenham Hale, and Father Andrew asked them to put together a proposal for the cafe space. Kate told us, ‘To be honest I didn’t think it would happen this fast. The bakery wasn’t planned.’ They won the contract and decided to get stuck in.
The bakery is a communal cafe which acts as a central hub between the Engine Rooms and the nursery next door.
Their biggest inspiration has been the community in Tottenham. Kate said that it’s such an eclectic, diverse and interesting place that has given them the opportunity to do something interesting and be accepted. ‘For me as a designer it’s influenced what I’ve wanted to do… It’s a reflection of the environment and locality that we’re in.’
Fabrizio put his own style into the food and they have a big Sicilian influence in the new space due to the Sicilian chef. They say the great team they have hired have helped to shape what’s on offer. They explain it as a fusion of styles and make comforting, healthy, filling food. Some items on the menu change each week.
They explained that it’s also about the quality of the ingredients that they use. Fabrizio said, ‘If you eat good food and the service is nice you will come back.’ They source some of the products from Italy and are looking to use more local produce in the future.
In the bakery they stock and sell local products. They currently have Soffles Pita Chips, Tri Prana teas and sell local beers you can take away. They also support local veg box scheme Crop Drop.
Their proudest moment was when Fabrizio pulled the first pizza out of their hand built oven at their pop up by the canal. Kate said, ‘The first margarita that he made he was poking it and said, ‘it’s perfect’. You have these crazy ideas and you put your head down and keep going and don’t think too hard about what you’re doing. That moment when you realise ‘wow we’re making fantastic pizzas out of this little oven.’ In the beginning when you have the first busy night, you’re so stuck into it that you don’t really get much perspective on it and you have a moment where it’s like, wow, look what we’ve done.’
In the future they plan to have a mobile pizza oven on a trailer to enable them to cater at events in the area and beyond.