Two brothers who opened a pizza shop more than 35 years ago have said thank you and farewell to their loyal customers after hanging up their aprons for the final time.

Mario and Antonio Veneziale have owned and run Pizza Italia since December 17, 1985, dishing up Italian cuisine for the people of Blackburn and beyond.

The family-run takeaway started out in Whalley New Road for 26 years before moving to its most recent spot on Preston Old Road where it has been for the past decade.

The brothers have both dedicated their lives to the shop and are thankful to all those who have been customers over the years.

Antonio, 57, said: “Thank you to everyone who has ordered food from us.

“We have people who have been customers since we opened.

“I have had men and woman in their 20s and 30s come in saying that they used to get pizza from here when they were a child.

“It’s crazy to believe that we have served a whole generation – our children have grown up here.”

Antonio, 57, from Salesbury, and Mario, 56, from Mellor, were 21 and 20 respectively and single when they started the take-away.

In the time they have owned the business, they have both got married and had children who have grown up and moved out.

Antonio said he has fond memories of his daughter helping with the washing up when she was about six, being rewarded with a pizza for her hard work.

He added: “It’s bittersweet for it to be over.

“We have sacrificed so much over the years working in the shop every Friday and Saturday and only taking off two weeks a year.

“Although it has been hard, we have always thought it is important for us to be there helping in our business.

“We have put our heart and soul into the takeaway for over 35 years and I think that is why we had so many loyal customers.”

The takeaway closed for the final time on October 30. It has been bought by new owners who will be concentrating on pizzas when they re-open.