"Real" pizza proves real popular at Raamon's
PROVIDING "real pizza" and providing a friendly face to talk to have been two of the secrets to being one of the best pizza places on the Northern Rivers, according to Patrick Vacarro, the owner of Raamon's Dial-a-Pizza Ballina and Lismore.
We put out a query on The Northern Star's Facebook page to ask where the best pizza in the region was, and Raamon's received a bucket load of votes, along with Mega Pizza in East Lismore.
It was clear that Raamon's had won over some loyal customers with comments like these from readers:
"We've tried them all and we always head back to Raamon's, absolutely the BEST," Michelle Anderson said.
"Raamon's pizza. Hands down the best pizza around," Tina Stephenson said.
"Raamon's for 'real' pizza," Lynne Reynolds said.
Mr Vacarro, who opened the Ballina Raamon's in 1985 and later opened up the Lismore store, said it was a really great feeling to know local people valued his service and his product.
Why does he think people enjoy his pizza?
"Because we make them the way they should be," he laughed.
"I think we're a damn good pizza for a fair price."
"You get what you pay for - you can't buy champagne with beer money."
Mr Vacarro has the benefit of experience up his sleeve - he has been making pizza for 40 years, after being taught by a pizza master from the first pizza house in Australia - the old Toto's Pizza House in Victoria.
He then went on to begin the first ever pizza delivery service in Australia from his store Red Pepper Pizza in Albury and began the now-international Dial-a-Pizza slogan, before finally settling on the Northern Rivers - where he originally planned to semi-retire.
But instead his love for pizza has won out.
"I love working, I love dealing with people," he said.
"People call it work, but I don't, I call it socialising."
"It's the total experience.
"But I'm always learning; I'm always willing to listen. You're never too old to learn."