Pizza Restaurant Innovates Through Connection, Transforms Business

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Julian’s Gluten Free Pizza Bases started in a steaming hot kitchen out the back of a popular pizza parlour in Sydney. Short of a nonna’s backyard, this would be the perfect place for a pizza to be conceived – close to the hearts (and mouths!) of its consumers. In 2005, Joe & Tracey Hassarati opened Julian’s Pizza and Pasta; and at the time there were a number of gluten free items on the menu but no gluten free pizza offering. This is something that would change, however, after a growing cohort of customers started sending requests to the chef. This led to the creation of Julian’s gluten free pizza bases, made with the advice of Coeliac Australia, and completely preservative-free. These pizza bases were very popular in the restaurant, with many coming to dine especially for the specially selected crust. This increasing demand led to the creation of a dedicated factory which would produce the bases to be sold to pizza restaurants and other outlets throughout Australia.

After 10 years of successfully selling the bases in the B2B market it became clear that there was demand for another product; and this time in people’s homes. While the B2B product had been a frozen product with a 12-month shelf life, the retail market demanded a chilled product. This was a challenge for Julian’s as they did not want to compromise on their approach of no preservatives or additives. Perseverance led to the creation of the Julian’s Gluten Free Pizza base which can today be found in Woolworths and Coles.

When asked about their success, the company puts it down to its connection to its customers and their unwavering quest to ensure that taste is the most important aspect of its products. The focus is on creating great tasting products without the need for preservatives or additives. Clearly, Julian’s strategy is paying off. Today, Julian’s is heavily involved in the promotion of gluten free products within Australia, and is helping to bring awareness to Coeliac disease.

The company is now connecting to markets overseas. With a solid team and stellar product behind it, the company is in a strong position to grow and start selling its pizza bases in international markets. Its products offer the best-tasting experience for Coeliacs, vegans, vegetarians, diabetics and the fast-growing market of consumers who prefer to select products without preservatives, additives, food colouring, nuts, eggs, dairy and genetic modification.

Joe and Tracey have also branched out to open the new Byblos Grill in Sydney, a Lebanese street-food restaurant which takes all the expertise learned over the years, and applies it to this new establishment, offering great tasting, authentic food, and only the finest natural ingredients. Only time will tell what kind of new innovations will come from requests to the kitchen this time around.