COVENTRY-based wood-fired pizza mobile company owner Tom Capell is hoping for a slice of the events industry action after surviving lockdown.
Former Coundon Court student Tom Capell launched Surf and Slice last year, deciding to quit his role as a quality controller at Jaguar Land Rover after five years.
But when the coronavirus crisis hit, Tom came up with a new way of keeping his business start-up alive.
He said: “We were doing quite well to begin with but when the crisis started, there were no customers for me to serve. Everyone was at home.
“I came up with my own DIY pizza kits including all the ingredients and recipes that I delivered all over the region. All in all, I delivered around 2,000 kits throughout the crisis and that kept the business going.
“As lockdown has eased, I’ve got pitches at Dhillons Brewery, in Longford, and one at The Criterion Theatre, in Earlsdon, where I am back out serving customers again.
“I’ve got a real focus on quality and making pizzas the right way so I am bringing the true taste of Naples to the people of Coventry. I tend to have five different pizzas on the menu at any one time including some unique base toppings such as pumpkin or truffle.
“I can see real potential in the events sector once that is back up and running and, eventually, would like my own outlet – possibly in Coventry city centre.”
Having always wanted to work in the catering sector, he bought a mobile wood-fired pizza trailer and was supported with advice and mentoring by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce as part of the Coventry & Warwickshire Business Support Programme.
While Tom’s focus was on the quality of the pizzas, he had no experience of running a business and the chamber gave him practical advice on establishing a company, setting up a business bank account, managing his finances and cash flow.
He added: “The Chamber has been great. They were recommended to me when I was first starting out and the support has been invaluable.
“I’ve always had an interest in catering and knew I wanted to focus on quality when it came to the pizzas we offered but in every other aspect of business I am still learning.”
Keely Hancox, of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Surf and Slice is a great example of a new business with a strong idea of what they would like to do but need help on the other side of business.
“People can be put off establishing a business because they don’t know to get started on some of those financial and administrative tasks. Our advisers are here to help as well as being a sounding board for ideas.”
The Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme is receiving up to £9,190,583 of funding from the European Regional Development Fund to invest in projects which will support the local economy, create jobs and local community regeneration.
For more information on support from the Chamber, contact 024 7665 4321 and visit: gov.uk/european-growth-funding