In an exclusive interview with Restaurant India, Siddharth Maskara, Co-founder at Brickwood shares how he stumbled upon wood fire pizzas.
What made you enter into the food business?
My family was in the food business for quite sometimes when my father opened first Indian restaurant in Kolkata. We have been into this business since 1995. Brickwood was just an idea about one and a half year ago. Wood fire pizza has always been something which grabbed my attention; it was something I want to try out. I think it was just by chance when we thought that Kolkata is ready for it. When we opened we were the only Wood fire pizza makers. Now there are few more but we maintain the authenticity of wood fire pizza because we actually burn the wood. We use the best quality ingredients available in Kolkata.
Share some glimpses of your journey with us?
Shashank and I joined hands together to open this restaurant. We wanted to do something unique in Kolkata and he has been in Kolkata for a longer period of time than me. We were brainstorming several ideas on what to experiment and come up with the restaurant. We once thought of doing Shawarma as it was also a craze that time. We were contemplating and finally found a property and got best chefs from the top hotels in Kolkata. Definitely luck was with us, we got best advices as Chef Banerjee from Oberoi asked us to do fabulous pizza. Then it clicked us and it was something I wanted to do since childhood. The idea became concrete from there only.
How do you see the competition?
There is no competition at all. A good authentic pizza is hard to find, even today we do not have enough authentic pizzerias’ in Kolkata so we are filling that gap. We make authentic wood fire pizza which is delicious, quality oriented and worth its price. We are trying to build a rapport among people as brickwood means pizza and pizza means brickwood.
What special do you have in your menu?
We are primarily a wood fire pizzeria. We also have lots of Italian products but pizzas are the main. We even have other items which have nothing to do with pizzas like garlic bread and our hot chocolate is rated as ‘the best’ among our customers. We always try to add new items to the menu as per customers’ demands. But if you go through the statistics, they show that pizzas are what we do best and what we are known for. Restaurateurs need to take care of their customers; hospitality industry is all about the service after all.
How do you sell your brand in terms of marketing?
We are moderately active on social platforms like Facebook and Zomato and else are taken care by organic word of mouth. And now we are looking up to boost our social media presence more aggressively.
How do you see changing market segments affect F&B industry?
I think it’s not so much of changing the market segment; it’s about the new market segments being added to the existing ones. Indians are too traditional in their ways not in just food but about living a life as well. So there is a void that’s what new trends are trying to fill. There are lots of gap to be filled up in each part of F&B sector. So, all of this is good for industry because it’s giving customer more of choices and thereby they’re going out to eat. This diversity would be a new evolution to the market.
What are your expansion plans?
We’re actually contemplating to work towards an end of franchise model. We are soon looking to expansions subject to investments coming.