Il Principe, the independent Italian delicatessen and takeaway on Cowley Road in Oxford, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this December.
Two decades ago, Domenico Iorio serendipitously discovered the empty storefront at 82 Cowley Road and has since transformed it into a local treasure trove of authentic Italian produce.
“Il Principe reflects passion, resilience, and a touch of spontaneity.” Domenico shares. His back-and-forth between Oxford and Naples, seeking opportunities and a sense of home, ultimately led him to establish the business in 2003. What began as a delicatessen has since expanded into a takeaway service specialising in Neapolitan pizza inspired by the owner’s heritage.
The family-run team shares how memorable moments have shaped the business into what it is today – from engaging in spirited games of the Italian card game ‘scopa’ when business was slow in the very early days to the challenges posed by the lockdown period and passing on of pizza-making skills to Domenico’s youngest daughter, Chiara. Their resilience comes from a strong sense of family, determination, and a shared commitment to confronting challenges head-on.
Reminiscing on his time running the business on Cowley Road, Domenico shares, “The street’s dynamic energy and the supportive community of business owners make it a special place to work. The eclectic mix of national and international cuisines means there’s something for everyone at all times of the day.”
Located on Cowley Road and inspired by Naples, Il Principe is a local Italian delicatessen that offers an exclusive selection of everyday products and a takeaway service specialising in authentic Neapolitan pizza.
The family-run team has been dedicated to bringing the essence of Italy to your home since 2003. From homemade pasta sauces, tiramisu, and cannoli to freshly sliced charcuterie, buffalo mozzarella, and guanciale for your next carbonara, they have you covered. Browse their shelves for an extensive lineup of premium wines and a few of Italy’s favourite brands.
Their top tip is to shop after 5.00pm when the takeaway service begins, and the irresistible fragrance of freshly made pizza fills the air. The team prides itself in its secret Neapolitan pizza recipe that has improved with time and comes (quite literally) full circle when topped with fresh, high-quality ingredients.