Express & Star

Father's pizza venture giving slice of takings to hospice which helped his son in his last months

The father of a two-year-old boy who died after being diagnosed with an incurable condition is using his food venture to raise money for a hospice which helped care for the youngster.

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Antonello Atzori (Tony) at his pizzeria

Baby Luca Atzori was just a year old when he was diagnosed with Tay Sachs disease, a rare inherited condition that stops the nerves from working properly and for which there is currently no cure.

He died in the arms of his mum, Zoe, and dad, Tony, aged just two, while he slept peacefully at Acorns Children’s Hospice in Birmingham.

The couple, of Boldmere, in Sutton Coldfield, say they will be forever grateful to the team of specialist nurses and family practitioners at the hospice for supporting them throughout the "darkest time of their lives".

Now, Tony has found a way to thank the charity, which also runs a hospice in Walstead Road, Walsall.


Before Covid, he was employed as a restaurant manager in Birmingham city centre.

He had also worked as a chef and pizza chef and during the first lockdown, out of boredom, he set up Your Flamingo and started cooking pizzas from home.

"During that period the profits were given to Acorns Children’s Hospice," he said.

"I have a strong link to this charity. Luca, my son, passed away in 2013 due to a disease called Tay Sachs at the age of 26 months while I held him in my arms at the hospice.

"The unusual name of the business comes from the interesting fact that flamingos suffer from the same illness. Luca was my flamingo but could’ve been your flamingo."

Luca at Acorns

Last year he started renting a premises in Boldmere high street and has set up a pizzeria called Your Flamingo.

He now gives a slice of his takings to Acorns, with the exact amount per pizza chosen for a very special reason.

"I give £0.22 for every main pizza sold to Acorns, this number was chosen because Luca passed away on the 2/2," he said.

"I’m putting all my hospitality knowledge into this business and it’s been very rewarding to be able to give something back into the community."