Mountain bike trails help fire up new hub in Derby

HEATING UP: Renovation works are well under way to transform Derby's old Berries Cafe into a pizza restaurant. Pictures: Supplied
HEATING UP: Renovation works are well under way to transform Derby's old Berries Cafe into a pizza restaurant. Pictures: Supplied

The success of the Blue Derby mountain bike trails is continuing to create new business opportunities in the North-East, with a new pizza restaurant set to open in Derby late next month.

The brainchild of Brisbane couple Kate Gegg and Paul Delekta, The Hub Pizza and Beer will take over the old Berries Cafe building on Main Street, which was put on the market early last year. 

Mrs Gegg said she and her partner had instantly fallen in love with Derby on a mountain biking trip in December, which led to the decision to open a restaurant in the town.

“As soon as we got there I was amazed by the scenery and loved the town instantly,” Ms Gegg said. 

“Like most visitors to the town we couldn't believe that with so many people riding and staying in town there was nothing open for dinner.

“We saw the need and the gap in the market and wanted to use the opportunity to be a part of the town we were becoming so fond of.”

Renovation work is well under way at the site, with a new kitchen being installed and a wall removed to make way for a two-tonne wood fired oven which is being shipped over from Italy. 

Ms Gegg said the business had set itself the challenge of creating Napoli-style pizzas from locally-sourced ingredients. 

“Right now I'm searching for Tasmanian fresh buffalo mozzarella, truffle oil and of course olive oil, and naturally we will be making all of our own dough.

“An Italian pizzaiolo is coming to Derby for a week in early March to train us in the true Napoli-style of pizza making.”  

Already a regular visitor of the mountain bike trails at Blue Derby, Ms Gegg said she felt right at home in the town. 

“The local reception has been fantastic.

“Every day we have people stopping in to see what we're doing or asking when can they finally get their pizza.

“That's what we love about Derby, it's full of really great people, all working together to build the town.”

Derby will host the second stage of the World Enduro Series in April, with about 500 riders expected to visit the town for the two-day event.