Pauly calls time on pizza career

THE Derwent Valley’s most popular pizza-maker has tonight (Saturday) baked his last pies and closed the door of his New Norfolk pizzeria for the final time. After more than four years in business, Paul Belcher has sold Pauly’s Pizza to a new owner.

Mr Belcher was working as a disability support person and serving as a Derwent Valley councillor when he opened Pauly’s Pizza in March 2019. Despite a long-running dispute with the council’s planning department, the shop was an immediate success and Mr Belcher soon left his previous job in order to focus on the business.

Pauly’s Pizza quickly became a major sponsor of local organisations including several local junior sports clubs and was a foundation advertiser in the print edition of New Norfolk and Derwent Valley News when it launched in July 2020. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic the shop remained open to customers and offered a contactless home delivery service.

In its first year Pauly’s Pizza was runner-up in HO-FM’s “best pizza shop” competition and it went one further in 2020 and was named the best pizza shop in southern Tasmania.

Paul Belcher, third from left, with family, friends and staff at closing time tonight.

In announcing his decision to sell the business with effect from tonight, Mr Belcher thanked everyone who had supported him from the time he decided to open the shop, and the customers and staff who had helped it to grow. Having gone into real estate several years ago, he said it was now time to focus solely on that career.

“I won’t disappear from the valley as I love the community and the people that make the community a great place to work, play and invest,” Mr Belcher said in a Facebook post earlier this week. “The new owner is excited to come to the valley and excited to continue to supporting the community in every way possible,” he said.

“From the bottom of my heart I thank everyone that has supported me in my business. Now it’s time to spend some quality time with my family as I’ve missed a few events and I thank them for being understanding,” he said. Mr Belcher’s farewell post on Facebook has attracted more than 500 likes and loves and more than 140 responses.

The shop at 34A Burnett St will be closed for a brief period before reopening under its new ownership.

See more Derwent Valley and Central Highlands news online and read our print edition every second Friday.

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