Cork pizza company opens new factory with plans to grow internationally

Philip Dennhardt pictured with Ciara McGee of Local Enterprise Office South Cork. Saturday Pizzas currently employs eight with plans to grow staff numbers to 20 by 2023. Picture Clare Keogh

A Cork pizza company is expanding its operations and workforce to meet demands as consumers increased their spend on groceries during Covid-19 restrictions.

Established in 2007 by German food entrepreneur and Ballymaloe Cookery School trainer, Philip Dennhardt, sales of Saturday Pizzas jumped 150% in the first half of this year.

He has now opened a new factory in Little Island with the support of Cork County Council’s Local Enterprise Office (LEO).

The company began with a pop-up pizzeria on Saturdays. Dennhardt, who learned pizza-making in Rome, was producing 300 pizzas a day with his team at the company’s original food production unit in Shanagarry.

Using a Business Expansion Grant the LEO office this year, Saturday Pizzas is now producing 750 pizzas a day from the 2,000 sq ft unit.

The Irish company, which makes Margherita and Pepperoni pizzas by hand, currently employs 8 with plans to grow staff numbers to 20 over the next three years. Its pizzas are baked in wood-fired ovens before being flash-frozen and are on shelves in several SuperValu, Spar, MACE and independent supermarkets.

“Our vision is to grow the ‘Saturday Pizzas’ brand into overseas markets," Mr Dennhardt said.

"Growing can be uncomfortable but leaving the comfort zone is the challenge we are happy to face. We are very excited for the business to continue prospering and the support of our Local Enterprise Office has been invaluable.

"It is very reassuring to know that others believe in your business too and that is giving us the confidence to invest and grow.”

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