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Fresh start for Albrighton Italian restaurant after vegan row

By Amy Wall | Wolverhampton | Dining out | Published:

A restaurant near Wolverhampton says it is hoping for a fresh start after its former chef made sarcastic online comments about meals served to a group of vegan customers.

Anthony Begley, Rachael Beith and Holly Turley at La Famiglia restaurant

The new business La Famiglia has opened in Albrighton as the sister restaurant to Carlini in Shifnal, the restaurant involved in the storm earlier this year, when chef and co-owner Laura Goodman posted on a Facebook page how a ‘pious, judgmental vegan’ had gone to bed ‘still believing she’s a vegan’.

Carlini received a flurry of online messages following the posting and its Tripadvisor and Google reviews were flooded with comments. Ms Goodman later resigned.

An investigation was launched into the Shifnal restaurant and the owners felt that a complete change of direction was required and introduced a new management team led by Rachael Beith and Head Chef Anthony Begley, supported by new service staff.

The company said it hoped the opening of the new Albrighton restaurant will be a fresh start for the business.

La Famiglia, which means 'the family' in Italian, opened its doors this week and is located in High Street.

Rachael Beith, the new general manager at La Familglia, said: “This really is a fresh start and we hope that the artisan pizzeria and family bistro concept will give the village and wider locality an exciting new dining and takeaway experience. We can’t wait to get started.”

"We listened to what local people in Albrighton and surrounding villages really wanted and it was clear that a welcoming family venue, with a great menu across the day, was missing from the local food scene."

She added: “Albrighton is also missing a really good pizza restaurant and that is why we have invested in two specialist pizza ovens, dedicated kitchen team training and careful ingredient sourcing so that we can offer our customers a handmade, gourmet pizza experience.

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“We will also be providing a takeaway service too, which will hopefully fill a major gap for this requirement in and around the village.”

After the storm earlier this year, the restaurant admitted the comments by Ms Goodman were 'ill-judged' but said they had been misconstrued by online commenters and that no meat was used in any of the dishes.

The jibe came after Ms Goodman created a special vegan menu for a party, only for them to then choose to eat a cheese-based pizza, the restaurant said.

Amy Wall

By Amy Wall
Trainee reporter - @AmyWall_star

Trainee reporter based at head office in Ketley, Telford.

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