#SupportYourLocals | Pazzi
In our #SupportYourLocals column, we visit our neighbors at the NDSM wharf one by one to hear their stories and, where necessary, support them. For this edition we will visit one of the new residents of the silver building on the quay at the Pontsteiger, where Bbrood used to be: Pazzi (Ms. van Riemsdijkweg 30).
Pazzi is a pizzeria that has been making pizzas according to an authentic recipe in Amsterdam and Breda since 201o. In March of 2021, in addition to their restaurants in the Jordaan and on De Clercqstraat, they also opened a restaurant on the NDSM wharf. Shortly afterwards, another restaurant was also opened in Amsterdam-East. I engage in conversation with Andrea and Samanta, entrepreneurs of Pazzi. We tried to schedule a meeting for two weeks, but due to busy agendas and announced relaxation in the corona measures, it was postponed a number of times. Not incomprehensible when you are opening two new businesses in the middle of a pandemic. Finally we meet on the sunny terrace of Pazzi Noord and with my burning questions ready we start talking.
“The place where we are now,” begins Samanta, “the silver kiosk building where Bbrood’s bakery used to be, is a temporary place. The municipality has plans for this location, but until they are put in motion, we can house here. We are not alone there, IJscuypje sells ice cream on the left side of the building, and Bbrood is still sitting next to us with a small takeaway shop. It also came about very quickly. Richard from, among other things, IJscuypje approached us via via and also helped a lot with all the painting and the like, so the restaurant was suddenly there within two weeks.”
“We didn’t expect it to go so fast ourselves,” adds Andrea, “I thought it was a bit tense at first, is it worth to do such an investment for a year/a year and a half? In principle, we can stay there until next summer. But we kind of hope that we might be able to stay a little longer.”
Andrea and Samanta tell how they initially worked the first shifts together with the two of them. “You don’t know in advance how busy it will be,” says Andrea, “and how many staff you need to hire. But after the first week it became clear that we would need more people. It ran so well, there isn’t anything like it close by either. You do have the Klaproos, but in terms of location it is really a bit further. In that respect, I think we have filled a gap in the market at the NDSM wharf.” Samanta nods in agreement. “We also hope for a location nearby in the future, in one of the new buildings for example, where we can enter after the kiosk,” she continues, “We really don’t want to leave the NDSM!” These words are like music to my ears. As a resident of the NDSM I have stopped by Pazzi many times, and many others with me. It’s the perfect place for a delicious, Romanesque pizza with fresh Italian ingredients, baked in an authentic brick oven. A very good option for the start of the weekend when you don’t feel like cooking (if I do say so myself).
I then ask Andrea and Samanta what it is like to do business at the NDSM and what they thought when they first came here. “My first boyfriend was from around here,” Samanta says with a laugh, “so I’ve been coming here since way back when. When the idea came up to open a Pazzi restaurant here, there was some internal doubt, but I said from the first moment that we had to do it. What is also remarkable: we meet many well-known customers from the Jordaan or De Clercqstraat here. They have moved here or work nearby. It’s really nice to hear when someone comes in that they already know us from the other restaurants.”
“Pizza is of course a dish that lends itself well for take away,” Andrea continues, “our locations in the Jordaan and on De Clercqstraat have always been very good and that has not collapsed during the pandemic. As a result, we were also able to expand to North and East this year. What was very funny is that we had been renovating in East for a long time, while in North everything was suddenly ready in two weeks. It all came a bit out of the blue here, but we’re really glad it happened.”
After the duo tells me about the different Pazzi locations in Amsterdam, I start to wonder: what makes the NDSM different from the other restaurants? “In general, the people at NDSM are a bit happier,” replies Samanta, “in the center you notice that there is more haste in people: they come by quickly, but also have to go through fast to do some last-minute errands or to continue working. In Noord you notice that the people who pass by are going home. So they are usually a bit more relaxed. You really notice that cheerfulness when people enter our restaurant, especially when the sun is shining.” That is very understandable when you see the location in which Pazzi is operating. With the recently renovated quay, it is wonderful to relax with a pizza in the evening sun. You can also take a seat on Pazzi’s newly opened terrace to order a nice drink in addition to your pizza.
Andrea and Samanta also talk about the special character of the NDSM wharf and how everyone gives their own interpretation to the site. “What I notice about myself is that I feel that I am closer to nature here,” says Andrea, “that may sound a bit strange because the NDSM stands for a lot of industry and it is actually just now becoming a bit greener. But as soon as you cross the Klaprozenweg you already arrive in a quite greener part of the city. That doesn’t feel the same if you compare it to the rest of Amsterdam. In that respect it is also a very interesting district if you look at how it has grown over the years.” Finally, I ask about Pazzi’s future plans, in addition to the ambition for a permanent place at the NDSM. “We have now been particularly busy with corona and opening two businesses, which is of course quite busy. If the corona situation continues to go in the right direction, we would like to organize something for the neighborhood in the future, possibly.”
Have you started craving a delicious authentic, Romanesque pizza made by professional Pizzaiolo’s in the meantime? Or would you like more information about the new pizzeria on the quay? Then click on the button below