During lockdown, like many families around the world, our finances took a turn for the worse. After a couple of days of head scratching and a few glasses of wine, we looked to what we had around us and what we could do to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. We used to run street food stalls in London and had kept our small, portable wood fired pizza oven. It was worth a go so we set up a Facebook page and asked our neighbours if they would be interested in fresh, hot pizzas delivered straight to their doors. We hoped to sell 20 pizzas a weekend, but after just one week we were selling that every night that we were open and after a month we were selling around 100 pizzas a night. It was safe to say that we had massively underestimated the demand.
We enjoyed what we were doing, but as lockdown restrictions began to be lifted we were unsure of what to do. We did what we had done from the start and asked our customers what they they thought and it was clear that we had their support to continue. We are now 8 months in and going strong, but there’s a limit to what we can do from a tent in the garden, our lounge as a dry store and working full time as well!
We want to grow, develop our product range and expand, but we also want to help those around us and support the communities that have supported us so amazingly. We have already implemented our own ‘pay it forward’ scheme where our customers can purchase a pizza for a family in need, we match it with another pizza and work with the local food bank, church and parish council to distribute them, helping to fill hungry tummies and put smiles on faces. We have had more than our fair share of tough times and know how a little bit of kindness can make all the difference.
The core team is myself and my husband Mike, but now we have delivery drivers and another chef in the kitchen to cope with the orders. All from our local community and people that have been hit hard by the economic impact of the pandemic.
We are bringing a service around here that just doesn’t exist, the support we have behind us has been amazing, but we are rapidly outgrowing our setup here and desperately need to expand. We came around at a time when people needed something positive and something to get behind, at the height of lockdown and we were so lucky to have benefited from the community support that we have. We really want to stick around and keep doing what we are doing, but we need to make the leap from working from our home to finding a home for Meon Pizza. We are looking for help with funding to be able to purchase a commercial pizza oven, pizza fridges with prep tables and to help us secure a lease on a property.