Bella is back: Pizza joint opens at new Cottage Grove location
Tim Roche has always been a pizza guy.
He's been working in pizza jobs for the better part of 25 years, and struck out on his own to open Bella Pizza with his wife Cinnamon about 13 years ago.
Bella's new location at 7155 80th St. took awhile to get ready, but will open this week just the way Tim and Cinnamon Roche hoped it would be.
Bella Pizza grew out of its 575-square-foot space at 80th Street Crossing and moved just up the road to its new 870-square-foot unit, in the business building near Dairy Queen.
The expanded space offers new opportunities that the Roches said they're excited to share with the community.
They've added four new specialty pizzas — gyro, reuben, jalapeno popper and Italian beef giardiniera — and five new varieties of pizza fries.
"We just wanted to bring it to the point where we had the most specialty pizza in town without changing any recipes," Tim Roche said.
For now, they're not going to be adding pasta or salads or any other Italian fare to the menu, but admit they've thought about it.
"We want to stick to what we do best: making pizzas," Tim Roche said. "If we expand, we might dabble into some of that stuff."
They are also looking forward to welcoming customers in to sit and have pizza by the slice.
"Seating alone is such a big step for us," Tim Roche said. "We're able to invite people in." "We're keeping it small and quaint," Cinnamon Roche added. "We're excited for a lunch crowd."
Tim and Cinnamon Roche were excited to design their own kitchen together in the new place.
"We were bumping into each other (in the old space)," Tim said. "We brought our ovens over. Same ovens, same stones we've always used."
They regret it taking so much time to get up and running. Tim said there were "a few minor hiccups," and the interior remodel took longer than expected.
They took five months — at first expecting only two — because they "wanted to do it right."
Tim's father also died during that time.
Cinnamon and Tim said the community and their family and friends have been very supportive and kind to them through the process.
"I just want to give a shoutout to everyone who's supported us during the downtime," Cinnamon said.
They've also heard a lot of excitement from people ready to get back to eating Bella's pizzas.
"It's so nice to hear people say such nice things," Cinnamon said. "Everywhere we go people are asking us, 'When are you opening?'"
"It's humbling," Tim added.