IT WAS well known for its pizzas and its lovable restaurateur – and the new owners of the former Pizza House building are hoping for the same longevity.
The restaurant closed down after 40 years last month and – following a six-week refurbishment costing more than £80,000 – it has reopened as Elite Care Services.
A party was held to mark the official opening yesterday with the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Councillor David Fuller as special guest.
Cllr Fuller said: ‘I was amazed at how much it has been transformed. It was totally different. It was great to see an established family business that has grown. They should be very proud.’
Elite Care Services supplies nursing and care staff across Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex and is run by mother and son team Carol and Kalvin Morris.
It started in 2001 with four members of staff and now has a client base of more than 300 nursing homes, residential homes and learning disability establishments, employing more than 400 people.
This was open plan so we could put walls in where we wanted and set it up how we wanted itKalvin Morris
Kalvin, 34, from Portchester, said he was delighted with the new offices.
He said: ‘The reason we were looking for new premises is that we had grown so much.
‘It was difficult to find what we needed. This was open plan so we could put walls in where we wanted and set it up how we wanted it.
‘We are delighted with it. It took six weeks to complete, and now we are hoping to expand again with our office in Sussex.’
Kalvin, who grew up in Waterlooville, said that while work was taking place, they even had a few people turn up in search of pizza.
Kalvin joined the company at 18, weeks after mum Carol, 61 from Milton, set it up after a long career in care.
He said the reasons for the company’s success was its focus on its staff, such as paying more than the living wage and holding regular incentives.
‘Even though we are 400 employees strong, we want them to be part of a team,’ he said. ‘Everything you invest into your staff, you get back in return.’
Elite Care Services moved out of a building in Clarendon Road, Southsea, which used to be a Post Office and is now up for sale.
The new London Road office is a base for 25 office staff plus drivers.