About a year ago I found a advert for a piaggio ape and instantly fell in love , the beautiful little Italian truck looked so appealing I knew it would be a fantastic start to my project,
I spent a month trying to get hold of the seller who put the wrong phone number on the add . Eventually I found him and messaged him through Facebook . I went with my brother to look at it and the deal was done , I had two weeks of sleepless nights thinking about what it could become and how good it would be . At the same time I’d purchased my 1st ooni pizza oven and was blown away with how good and quick this oven could fire out pizzas and to such a high standard, it was like a perfect marriage of the two things .
With the ape trailered to my house the work could begin . First I took care of the mechanical side of things , I was surprised at just how slow these things go ( very top speed of 20mph , with the wind behind you )
Next was to sort the layout of the van , it was once a little coffee van but with everything ripped out and left in a bit of a mess .
Lots of head scratching, lots of sketches , lots of tea and finally my son (7 years old Reuben ) casually described exactly how he thinks it should be and that’s the lay out it is now .
Next up was the paint, the van was looking a little shabby with it’s red back door and faded rusty white body ,
Along with my brother and son we stripped all the plastics off the van and the sanding began . Every evening for weeks we prepped the van ready for spraying
Still unsure of the colours we wanted it was once again my son who came up with the colour and design
Pleased with the looks of the van we set about the sign writing
And tiling the back of the van
So that’s the history of the van and how much work we’ve put into it so far .
The pizzas I’ve been perfecting whilst the build has been on going . Every chance I got I would be researching pizzas , sourcing the perfect flour ( it makes a massive difference !) cheese and tomatoes, I’m lucky to have the most amazing Italian wholesaler located in bridport who sources the finest Italian produce direct .
I make a hot smoked chilli honey which has been massively popular with everyone who’s tried it and we have used it for drizzling on pizzas, a dipping sauce a coating for chicken wings , ribs , spaghetti bolognese , chilli the list is endless .
Feeling confident we agreed to do a 2nd birthday party for a family friend over in Hawkchurch, with the van all set up to tow and pizza doughs made we headed off
We set up in the playing fields and prepared for our first ever customers
So that’s our first outing and it was a massive success and I’d like to find pitches at markets, pubs, fetes and shows, weddings, private party’s and anywhere interesting.
The van works well and is a real big talking point , no one can believe I can do so much with it . I’m set with all the practical side of things but now I’m asking for help with the insurances , pitch fees , a bigger mixer , a wether proof gazebo and to get ahead with stock .