Starting a new business is always challenging, but starting a business during a pandemic seems to be even more so.
As I entered the new restaurant on the block, DOH Pizza, I was instantly hit by the welcoming, warm scent of freshly baked pizza.
I got to catch up with the friendly team and discuss their new business and the effects the pandemic has had.
The team have had the idea to open a pizza restaurant in Limerick long before the pandemic took over.
Their goal is to become Limerick’s top pizza place.
“If you ask 10 people in Limerick, ‘What’s the best pizza?’, there’s no definitive answer. you’ll get 10 different answers. There was no true barometer of what’s the best pizza in Limerick and that’s what we have set out to achieve,” proprietor Paul Cosgrave said.
When asked about the challenges they have faced due to COVID-19, Paul and his brother-in-law and head chef, Tom Dawson both joked that it had been “easy enough.”
Tom said that they had hoped to open back in April, but everything had gotten delayed.
“Builders, designers, suppliers, everything had stopped,” Tom explained.
The team also encountered some problems with sourcing products, due to the pandemic.
“Little things that you wouldn’t even think about, like furniture. We were short some chairs and there were like 6-week lead times and then the factories closed down,” Paul said.
Nevertheless, Paul looked on the brighter side of things and explained that he felt that they were lucky in some ways.
“We were never open, like we weren’t open for two weeks and then closed down,” he said.
The team say that the restrictions gave them time to think about everything and ensure that everything was just right before the launch.
“You know, you only get one chance to launch and everything has to be bang on, down to what pictures we put on the wall and what lights we picked,” said Paul.
The team has put a lot of thought into the interior, as well as the exterior design of the restaurant.
“We don’t need to shout about who we are or what we do, let’s just go totally black on the front and stick a big neon pizza sign in the middle and see how we go,” said Paul.
“Hopefully people figure out what we do here,” joked Tom.
Tom, who is the head chef, has experimented with many different recipes and has trained with head chefs in Dublin and Naples.
He explained that the dough is made in-house and is proved for 48 hours, before the pizza is then cooked for 90 seconds in a 500-degree open-front Gozney oven.
“It’s nice behind there, it’s hot,” Tom laughed.
The men both joked that they had no worries about launching during this time, but then Paul said: “You’ll always be worried, but if you believe in something and think you’re doing the right thing, you can make something succeed very easily.”
The team at DOH Pizza are excited to launch and finally start serving their top-quality pizza to the people of Limerick.
“We know that the minute the pizza comes out, it has to be to a certain standard. This is the image of what the pizza has to look like, taste like, what our atmosphere needs to be like,” said Paul.
DOH Pizza are almost completely booked out this month, so if you’re interested in trying Limerick’s newest pizza place, get booking!