An Italian restaurant in Padiham has tasted a “pizza” success in a national competition.
And the news couldn’t have come at a more perfect time for Sylvia Seminara, co-owner of Mamma Mia, Whalley Road.
The restaurant has cooked up a storm in a bid to become the Best Family-Friendly Restaurant in this year’s English Italian Awards.
“We’re very excited and proud as we were nominated by our customers,” said Sylvia, who runs the restaurant with Antonino Seminara.
“The nomination means a lot as I’m a mother and we’ve had people propose to their partners here and bring all their relatives. Their children have then grown up and brought their own sons and daughters.
“Italians are very family-orientated and we’re a family-run business - even our staff who aren’t relatives are treated like family.
And 54 year-old Sylvia is sure to be raising two glasses of Prosecco, since the achievement marks her 40th year in the industry.
“We’ve been in the building for 22-and-a-half years. I started out at age 14 working on the tills at a restaurant and wanted to be a waitress.
“40 years is a long time but I’ve loved every moment.”
Mamma Mia was picked to go on to the finals taking place on Sunday, October 15th after judges secretly dined there for a three-course meal.
“We didn’t know who the judges were until after they’d had their meal but it went really well. They absolutely loved it and said the service was great and complimented the staff.”
But amid the night’s events, there was one moment that says it all.
“A little boy called Leo spoke to me after his meal,” Sylvia said.
“His parents had asked him what he wanted to do to celebrate his first week back at school. He picked Mamma Mia.”