The panel was titled ‘Making Manchester’, and took place at live music venue Band on the Wall on 10 May.
Windsor talked about the history of Ramona – a pizzeria started by the company which serves Detriot-style pizza.
The team began planning the restaurant in lockdown, and settled on the name Ramona as it was the name of the creative director Adelaide Winter’s daughter.
It was important for Windsor to make the concept ‘Instagrammable’ when marketing. He wanted the concept to include art of something “friendly that look like it might kill you”, and picked an artist who makes simple designs which include black snakes.
Then, the team began running a pizza hotline through Instagram, giving the pizza to those who wanted to be involved. They then opened the site during the pandemic, with 30k Instagram followers.
The history of Ramona
At this time, eating in at restaurants was banned, meaning they capitalised on their takeout offering, blaring music outside the venue to attract more customers.
Ramona was fully booked for the first three months. The website crashed, and everything sold out immediately.
The company then opened the Firehouse in the Northern Quarter of Manchester. Nothing at the venue is fried, and all is based on fresh produce. There is not a vast menu, and the venue has a late-night offering of performances.
This autumn, another opening is expected from A Very inc. They are due to take on a 200,000 sq ft factory called Diecast in a new area of Manchester Piccadilly East.
Some of the building dates back to 1870, with most of the structure harking back to the 80s. It will include a daytime offering of a bakery, deli and café, with plans to potentially turn the garden area sweeping round the building into a beer garden.
There will be a beer hall and brewery, and a large bar, restaurant and stage with a 2,000 capacity. This will include décor such as large visible stainless steel beer brewing vessels.
BBQ, barbers and circus
Furthermore, the factory will hold space for an open kitchen with a BBQ wood grill, live fire and atmospheric street food serving which could include fresh flat breads and blackened vegetables.
There are also plans for an immersive entertainment night market. This will include a circus, theatre and market stall, with performers in costume. Stalls, small traders, lanterns and a seasonal change of theme are just a few things to look forward to at the market.
During the day, a plant shop, barbers, nail salon and gym will also open their doors, with the gym already launched.
The site will have a focus on sustainability, which will be expressed through electric vehicle charge points, as well as cycle points.
Furthermore, there will also be creative and tech offices called Diecast studios, where art and technology intersect. These will operate as small, affordable, short flexible term offices.