It’s the new pizza paradise that’s taken Middlesbrough by storm – and it all started with a home pizza oven.
Slice Boro brought Detroit style pizza to the town six months ago, and the thick and pillowy focaccia dough, oozing cheese and luscious tomato sauce has won over a legion of fans.
Now, after a successful summer based from a shipping container kitchen outside Hit the Bar, Slice is branching out into its own larger premises – the former Mohujos on Bedford Street in the town centre.
And its menu is growing too.
Brad Mains got hooked on cooking pizza when he bought a home pizza oven around two years ago.
Admitting he became “a little bit obsessed”, Brad experimented with different styles, made his own dough, and sourced his own fresh ingredients and the authentic blue steel pans from the United States.
And despite working full time as a control room operator at a chemical plant in Billingham, the 27-year-old was being urged to go into business and sell his creations.
Brad – along with girlfriend Sophie Hamilton, 28 – continued to perfect his recipe and, with experience of putting on house music events with friends, he spoke to Dan Stanwick at Hit the Bar, on Bridge Street East near Middlesbrough’s railway station.
The bar had recently bought two shipping containers to ensure they could continue to serve customers outside as we emerged from lockdown, and Brad agreed to occupy one to sell his Detroit pizza.
“We started our social media and our friends started sharing it, and from there it just snowballed,” said Brad.
“The first week we had over 500 bookings. I’d never experienced anything like it. We were selling out of all our dough early on most nights and literally didn’t have the space to store any more.”
The budding business branched out to supplying slices to the Artizan on Roman Road in Linthorpe, before an opportunity came up to move to its own kitchen.
“We’re hugely grateful to Dan and Hit the Bar for where we’ve got to, and we’ll continue to sell our pizzas from outside there on Saturday Boro matchdays,” continued Brad, from Acklam.
“Now, we’re dead excited to have our own kitchen here on Bedford Street.
“We’ve got more space and equipment, so we can keep up with takeaway orders, and were going to be holding pop-up restaurants on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights next door (at the Bedford Street Coffee café, after it closes at 3pm).
“I think the Detroit pizza has been so popular because it was something different in Middlesbrough, all our ingredients come from a dedicated Italian supplier and people have really enjoyed them.
“When we do our pop-ups, we’re also now going to be selling Neapolitan style pizzas, which are a completely different style but something we think will be popular too.”
Takeaway delivery and collections will be open from Thursday to Sunday.