Since November 2020, students and tourists have been queuing up in Broad Street for tasty calzone at the ItaliAmo cafe.

Now popular recipes are being cooked up at a second location - the new ItaliAmo deli in High Street.

While some high street businesses have been struggling, the family-run enterprise has been so successful it has recently been able to expand its operations.

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The cafe’s Facebook page says: “Have you seen our new shop in High Street? We are now open!

Oxford Mail:

“Come and see us to enjoy our food as usual!

“We are so proud to see our business growing.”

In another development, the Broad Street cafe is now allowed to serve alcohol.

ItaliAmo announced: “You can now have a beer with our calzone or pizza in our shop in Broad Street.

“Which do you prefer?

“Have you tried already the Ichnusa? Sardinian beer of course.”

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Moretti and Peroni beers are also on sale.

Oxford Mail:

Stefano Loi and his wife Madina opened the ItaliAmo café in Broad Street in November 2020 despite the coronavirus pandemic, after long-serving sandwich bar Mortons closed.

Father-of-four Mr Loi, from Sardinia, said earlier he was delighted his calzone - oven-baked folded pizzas with different fillings - and focaccia sandwiches were proving so popular.

Twelve-inch pizzas have been served up since June last year.

Oxford Mail:

Mr Loi added: “Students really like our calzone and our fresh focaccia and we do calzone with different fillings - vegetarian, beef and ham and mushroom.

“Some of the students are from colleges on Woodstock and Banbury Roads and they keep coming back - they don’t seem to mind queuing outside for a little while because they really like the food.”

Mr Loi comes from ‘the middle of the island of Sardinia’ and the calzone recipe was one his grandfather taught him.

Oxford Mail:

“We make them ourselves and the dough takes 24 hours to prepare,” he added.

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The café owner arrived in the UK in 1998 and has worked in catering for many years including a number of restaurants in London.

He added: “I left Sardinia with a background of cooking - I have been doing this since I was a teenager.”

He and his wife live in Headington and the café is run by a small team, including Alessandro Lai, who has been looking after the new deli in High Street, already proving popular with tourists and residents.

The arrival of ItaliAmo deli is bound to give a boost to the High Street where there are still a number of empty retail units.

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

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