Home » A slice of relief for those in ‘knead’

A slice of relief for those in ‘knead’

Daniel Bouwmeester    November 5, 2023    4 min read   

The owner of a traditional Italian restaurant is committed to ‘dough-nating’ fresh food to Springfield families most affected by the rising cost of living.

Claudio d’Andrea, the boisterous head chef at Pizzeria La Prima, in Springfield Central, gives away at least one pizza every week in partnership with Westside Community Care – a local charity organisation.

“In moments like this – with inflation, and [after] COVID – as small business owners, we try the best that we can,” Claudio said.

“It’s massive for me. It’s about helping, it’s being kind, it’s about going above and beyond,” he said.

“I know how someone – or a family – can look fine [on the surface], but there is more to it that no one knows.

“Something we’ve been doing is giving out $25 vouchers [to people I know], who can then give them away to people they see in need.

“I have connections through real estate, and at Orion, that I chat with about helping people with not much money.”

The benefit of giving is “priceless”, the 27-year-old said.

Claudio’s menu is freshly made and includes cheese plates and traditional desserts like chocolate-drizzled cannoli. Images: Pizzeria La Prima.

More recently, Claudio has been volunteering face-to-face at Westside.

“Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Phil Cutcliffe [from] Westside Community Care.

“I’ve been enjoying going there in person and connecting more with the community.

“We go every Wednesday and pick up food from Coles. My car has been super full! We give free food away and help all the people who are already there.”

Claudio explained that participating has helped him mentally, and he hopes others join in too and experience the benefits.

“The more people who know about [Westside], the better – for themselves, and for everyone else.”

Claudio opened Pizzeria La Prima in 2016, quickly building a reputation for serving some of Brisbane’s best pizza and pasta.

“We make traditional Italian pizza and dishes from Italian cuisine, like fresh gnocchi,” Claudio said.

Staff make all the pasta and dough by hand, fresh in store daily.

Pastor dishes

Claudio personally delivers his pizzas to various business and charity events.

The restaurant also allows diners to donate ‘pay-it-forward’ pizzas.

“We thought that ‘paying it forward’ would be an easy way for our customers to think and be kind towards other people and families in this community,” Claudio explained.

“How it works is next time you come for a pizza, if you like, you can order an extra one to add onto our ‘pay-it-forward’ wall,” Claudio explained.

“We’ll keep the receipt for that pizza, and Pastor Phil [Cutcliffe] from Westside Community Care [will send] families our way who really need the help.”

Phil, who is a pastor at Springfield Christian Family church, praised Claudio’s community spirit.

“Claudio and his team are awesome, not just to their customers, but also to the community,” Phil said.

June Johnson, a fellow volunteer organiser with Westside, said Claudio has had a positive impact in the community.

“Many families need a special treat especially in these tougher times,” June said.

“Claudio is so wonderfully generous and obliging, and it is time for us to honour and bless him with our support.

“[He is] a thoughtful young businessman with a big heart for the community.”

Claudio has also made a number of personal contributions to the Camira-based charity, including a washing machine, dryer, microwave, tables, and mattresses, and two lounges, as well as brand new toys for the Westside Community Care Christmas Toy Drive.

In addition, the restaurant is an ongoing sponsor of the Springfield United Football Club.

Pizzeria La Prima offers dine-in, takeaway, and delivery through Menulog and Uber Eats.

Visit at 1 Ian Keilar Drive (Shop 3), Springfield Central, or call 3470 1026 for takeaway from 6pm daily.

Claudio regularly posts special deals on the restaurant’s Facebook page – search ‘Pizzeria La Prima Springfield’.

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Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.