From Pizza Magic in 1989 to Nostrana in September 2022 - a lot is happening! Oh, and there's a bit of history there too. This is Our Story.
Nostrana - September 2022
Emerging as idea to do something different in 2016, Marco Stevenson started on a journey from Pizza Magic, a well known popular takeaway in the West End since 1989, to Nostrana, a fresh new restaurant that will serve freshly-made handcrafted pizza, pastas, mains, snacks and desserts from noon to evening in a stylish and relaxed setting.
Pizza Magic - 1989 to 2022
Pizza Magic is a small family owned local business, which I have owned since 1989 – 29 years. The business has changed so much over the years not only in the way we operate but also the quality of product we now produce. I am passionate about my business and perfection is my passion. I am constantly looking at ways to improve recipes be it the sauce for the pizza topping, or a new flour to improve the base of the pizzas, we now also make our own bread. To me detail is everything.
I believe Pizza Magic is unique, with the current trend of large franchises having the monopoly on the market, it is refreshing to see small independents thriving and being able to compete successfully offering a quality product. I believe it is testament to the quality of the service and product we deliver that, in these challenging times we have remained in business for over 28 years.
We firmly believe we have a responsibility to bring healthy options to the customer and to get away from the idea that the “takeaway” is the quick “junk food fix”. We endeavor to explore the healthy options without compromising the taste of the product and with this in mind we have introduced gluten free products, which are proving really popular.
However, there are several elements to being successful, and moving with the times is pivotal. We were one of the first small takeaways to introduce IT in an all-encompassing fashion. I worked with a local IT website designer to develop a website which at the time was innovative. I then expanded this to computerising my ordering system, introducing call display and on line ordering.
I truly recognise and value the need for excellent customer service. The staff at Pizza Magic are friendly, enthusiastic and welcoming, which creates a great rapport with the customers. Staff are all trained to a high standard and are well versed in Food and Hygiene regulations and Health and Safety procedures.
In 2006 I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to buy the newsagents Tabak at 70 Hyndland Road, although I had no experience in this area of retail, I recognized this as a unique chance to expand my business in the area. I worked in and operated Tabak until 2016, it was a really rewarding experience as it allowed me to be involved with my customers with a more personable approach. Unfortunately, in 2016, despite over 500 objections from local residents and community groups, Planning permission was given for Sainsbury’s to build a supermarket in Novar Drive, which is adjacent to Tabak. Being a small, independent business I couldn’t compete with this additional corporate competition and sadly I had to close Tabak. However, after speaking to other business owners in the area I managed to get jobs for all my paperboys and girls and also my counter assistants, which was a relief and comfort to me.
Having to close Tabak has been extremely difficult but I always knew that I wanted to keep my business in the West End, so after a lot a lot of thought and research, I have decided to develop both shops, Pizza Magic and Tabak into a truly special project. I have obtained a 25 year lease on portion of the land at the side elevation of Tabak and have submitted a Planning application to merge both shops into on and also install a glass pavilion on the side elevation. This fabulous concept has not been used anywhere in Glasgow but only in high-end stores such as Claridges
It has been my absolute pleasure to work in the area for over 29 years and being involved with the local community has been an added bonus. It is rare indeed, particularly in this day to be able to say you know your customers on first name terms. It truly embodies the spirit and ethos of what a local business should be and to be able to be recognized as a valued asset to the community.