For one local Irish-Italian business, family and community mean everything.
The Central Take Away in Thomastown is very much a family affair and recently celebrated its 40th year serving the local community. The story of the popular fast-food restaurant stretches from a small village in Italy, before stopping off in Carlow where Bruno Bove would meet Stasia (pictured together below), the love of his life who would soon become his wife, before arriving in south Kilkenny.
After 40 years at the helm of the business, Bruno has finally decided to call it a day. But it’s a case of continuity rather than wholesale change as his youngest daughter Sonia has taken over the restaurant, which she now runs with her husband Darren Borza, whose family are from the same village, Casalattico, in Italy.
On September 12 the extended Bove-Borza clan (pictured at bottom) celebrated the milestone with a small get together of present and former staff. There was old pictures on display and many a good old story told.
At the heart of all the stories is a family-friendly business that has become an integral part of the community. Always supportive of local effort, Darren and Sonia have been doing their bit to help out during the Covid crisis.
They have sponsored two charity runs to provide some support for the frontline staff at St Columba’s Hospital and as a thank-you they offered free meals to all the local businesses that have stayed open.
The Central Take Away also sponsors local camogie. “We love to help our locals,” says Sonia, who played the sport for many years. “We love the chats with the neighbours and being part of the community: it’s an integral part of both our Irish and Italian heritage.”
Thomastown has a vibrant local and business community, where everyone does their best to support each other, especially when times are hard.
The Central Take Away has also fuelled this community spirit, supporting the local fire service in their fundraising efforts on behalf of Pieta House, the bereavement and mental health charity, and St Joseph’s Nursing Home in Kilmoganny.
The takeaway continues to deliver free food packages to staff at St Columba’s, Sonia says, to show them “that even though time has passed they are not forgotten and that we appreciate them and the incredible work they are doing without hesitation to keep us all safe”.
As she looks to the future, Sonia assured her loyal customers the Central Take Away will continue to provide its quality food and service, albeit with a slightly more modern twist.
“Our aim is to take the restaurant that step further, a sort of hop into the 21st century,” explains Sonia.
“Dad is old school: he did everything with a pen and paper – no technology! – so we are just bringing it to another level to keep up with the times.”
Sonia and Darren (pictured above) have already started to ring in the changes. A new pizza oven was installed recently. They now take card payments and provide a new delivery service.
A new till system will be in place soon, along with updated menu boards. The Central Take Away is also building up its media presence online and on social media platforms.
But behind all of these innovations, the core values remain the same.
“We are a family business serving our community as best as we can and this will never change,” adds Sonia.
“We value each and every person who walks through our doors. We were brought up to value our neighbours and community and to always help out and support each other when you can. This was dad’s ethos when he first set up shop in Thomastown 40 years ago, and as the pandemic has shown us, these values have never been as important or as relevant as they are today.”
The Central Take Away is in Market Street. It has a home delivery service for its full range of pizzas, burgers, meal deals, snack boxes and other fast food delights. Call 056 7724362.
For more information, check out their Facbook page at: https://www.facebook.com/CentraltakeawayTtown