We ♥ Italy

If there’s one thing that has to follow fabulous food and drink, it’s a great story. Our owners, Julia and Guy Marshall, explain how they fell in love with Italian food, and how Mama J’s came to be.

“We shared a bottle of Amarone Della Valpolicella on our first date in an Italian restaurant. It was 31st January 2001. Julia ate spaghetti – not a great choice for a first date! Neither of us had been to Italy before, but found we had a shared love of their food and drink, so we decided we had to go. In 2001, we fell in love with each other – and with Italy – on our first trip to Tuscany back then.

wedding-picture-2Many, many holidays to all regions of Italy followed that trip. We ate our first wood-fired pizza in Pisa, and couldn’t believe the difference in taste to any other pizza we’d ever had. The produce was fresh, simply cooked and tasted amazing. We grew to adore the Italian style of family dining – so much so, we even went to night school to try and learn Italian. We know lots of way to ask for food and drink in a restaurant! Italy had stolen both our hearts, and 2007, we got married in Alghero, Sardinia.

Having settled down to married life back home, we were keen to share our passion with our friends and family. The problem was, we couldn’t get a proper, wood-fired pizza anywhere locally. So, we did what any Italian food fanatics would – we went on a wood oven making course, and came home and built one out of clay in our garden.

oven-buildThe results were amazing, and it proved so popular amongst our friends that we decided it was time to set about opening our own Italian restaurant. Owning a restaurant had been a lifelong dream for Julia, and we’d both been looking for something “different” to do with our lives!

In between our trips to Italy, we’d been coming to Cornwall for years. We loved Looe especially, because it is a family seaside destination, and on a bright clear day the sky remind us of being in Italy. So in August 2013 we finally upped sticks, and moved to the new home we’d found – now the home of Mama J’s. We’ve relished the challenge of building and designing our own restaurant, but as much as we loved making our own one, we needed a much bigger oven than the one in our garden! So we contacted Stone Bake to supply the massive one we now have.

It’s called Mama J’s because family is important for us, as it is for Italians. Friends and family have always been welcomed in, and spoilt with food at Julia’s kitchen, and that’s how we want every single customer to feel. Relaxed, well–fed and blissfully content.”