Warwick pizza business cheesed off over J and J snub
WARWICK business owners Ciro and Melinda Borelli from 4Stagioni Mobile Woodfired Pizza Catering have publicly voiced their frustrations over being shut out of one Warwick's biggest events for the third year in a row.
Mrs Borelli took to the couple's business Facebook page on Monday night to announce their application for the 2017 Jumpers and Jazz Potters Craft Market at the Picnic in the Park had been refused in favour of a pizza vendor from Brisbane.
The couple who relocated to Warwick from Sydney in 2015 said they were disappointed to be overlooked for a non-local business.
"My gripe is that the application process is not a fair and equitable one," she said.
"After we moved here in 2015 I contacted the Warwick Potters Association (market organisers) to try and get involved and was told they already had someone doing pizzas, so I thought 'fair enough I'm too late for this one'.
"In January 2016 I rang them to get in for that year and was told the same thing, even though applications hadn't even opened yet.
"I questioned their application process and was told again they already had a pizza vendor."
This year Mrs Borelli said she waited until applications opened online for stall holders and applied through the correct channels, paying their site fees via direct debit.
"On Monday night we received a email that said they already had someone as we'd previously been told," she said.
"I truly appreciate that organising and running an event of this size is a thankless task but the application process must be a transparent one.
"Why have an application process if there's no point and the spots are already filled?
"Don't advertise for applications when it's clearly not an application process."
Mr Borelli said supporting local businesses is essential for the community to thrive.
"I'd understand if we're being overlooked for another local vendor, but a Brisbane vendor?" he said.
"We had our pizzas at the Rodeo last year and there were two other pizza vendors there, and we all had a good night business-wise.
"I was out the Jumpers and Jazz markets last year and it was the biggest crowd I'd ever seen in Warwick.
"Easily enough people to have another local business to help feed them all."
Warwick Potters Association market co-ordinator Sue Creed said she did not wish to comment on the matter.
"I know the facts but nothing will be gained by entering into a dogfight, so 'no comment'," Mrs Creed said.
Longtime Jumpers and Jazz in July organising committee member Karina Devine said the market organisers had always done a marvellous job.
"Opportunities for the other events in town are scarce because we have to respect the trade of the businesses in the CBD," she said.
Mr Borelli said he had been contacted by the organisers of the Killarney Bonfire Night, who had advertised for food vendors earlier this week.
"Fingers crossed we have the opportunity to get in there and get our name and great handmade pizzas out into our lcoal community," he said.