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At Lyall Bay, even pizza has a personal backstory. Previously, Marc Goodley of Busters Pizza had done his time overseas at the high end of the food business, and in a few places in between.  French-trained, Marc has worked in the big hotels, in cafes, and was even employed as a private chef on a superyacht before marrying a Kiwi, and settling in the Bay. His wife Linda had dreamed of having a wood-fired pizza business, and he’s a trained chef so…eventually, Busters Pizza was born in mid-winter, 2017. Linda co-owns the business and helps out as her full time job allows.

Busters does good business and it offers a good lifestyle. “We live up the road, so it’s handy,” Marc says.” It’s quiet, a nice place, only a walk to the beach, and handy to the airport – I’ve even walked there once. It only took me 25 minutes.”

And, the point of difference with a Busters Pizza? “They have a traditional thin base, but the toppings are a bit different. They’re Kiwified – I’m not Italian, so I’m not trying to make Italian pizzas.” Currently, his biggest selling pizza is the ‘Lyall Bay’, closely followed by the ‘Courtenay Place’. “The Lyall Bay has smoked chicken, basil, capsicum and mushroom. The Courtenay Place is hot and spicy – like Friday night in Courtenay Place.”

Busters pizzas are one hundred per cent wood fired. “Some places use gas as well, but my cooking is pure fire,” says Marc.

The manuka for the oven gets delivered by a guy up Whanganui way, and Marc burns through one cubic metre a week. He chops the wood using the jumbo version of the Kindling Cracker designed by the then 13 year-old Kiwi inventor, Ayla Hutchinson, in 2012. She popped in to Busters recently when she was visiting another local enterprise, Weta Workshop, with whom she collaborated on the design elements of her product.

In fact, the folk from Weta are loyal Busters’ customers, with Marc so familiar with some of the regulars’ orders that he can almost start assembling their pizzas as they wander up the road. “I have a couple who like to throw me off though, by ordering something different out of the blue.”

The eye-catching, purple, custom-made container premises were designed by local Lyall Bay architects, Etch, and Marc finds the space works really well. “I could probably do with something bigger, but really I like things that are compact and contained. I got the higher container so I could have that sense of space and store stuff up high. “

Busters are one of the selected Wellington stockists of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, which is a big drawcard for some customers. A dedicated dairy-eater, Marc admits; “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the vegan coconut one is the most delicious”

And does he ever find himself pining for the old high life? “ I sort of miss it at times. But,” Marc smiles, “its nice not to worry so much about how pretty my food is now.”

You can treat yourself to a mouthwatering Busters pizza any time from 12.00 - 8pm on Tuesday - Thursday & Sunday, and until 9pm Friday and Saturday.