Shop Small: Big Slice Pizza Co. 🍕
February's pick for small business of the month is the almighty Big Slice Pizza Co.
Lockdown's saviours, these guys have been serving you hand-stretched Neapolitan pizza goodness since November 2019. Based in Shoreham by Sea, they deliver throughout Sussex.
Imagine just starting up your pizza business, working hard to lock in events for the year ahead and BAM, a worldwide pandemic hits... goodbye public events, hello lockdown.
Well, that's what happened to Dan, but did he let that stand in the way of his pizza dream?
Dan stood on his kitchen table, hulked out of his shirt and boomed,
I WILL NOT SURRENDER; MY PIZZA WILL BE EATEN BY THE MASSES. YOU CANNOT STOP ME COVID-19, YOU CAN NOT STOOOOPPP MEEEEE
Alright...maybe it wasn't quite like that but I reckon I'm not far off.
So, with that being said, here's the story behind Big Slice Pizza Co.
Over to you Dan!
Tell us about you.
My name is Dan and I own Big Slice Pizza Co. We're a husband and wife team. I make the pizzas/run the events and popups. My wife Kay helps out with all of the prep, admin and business decisions.
What do you do / What do you sell?
Pizzas! Neapolitan style/inspired pizzas.
Our aim is to be respectful to the heritage of pizza making but not to be bound by traditions. That is why when initially deciding on a style of pizza to focus on it had to be Neapolitan as that is the birthplace of pizza.
But we're not from Naples and have eaten all types of pizzas. We just love pizza so set out to create our perfect pizza.
How / When did it start?
Big Slice was kind of an accidental business, to be honest.
Initially, I just wanted to learn how to make great pizzas at home. Then near the start of that rabbit hole situation, we went on a little trip to Italy and it really inspired me. After that, it just got a little bit out of hand, I got an outdoor pizza oven and it took the game to the next level.
The business was born when we got asked to make some pizzas at our friends' wedding anniversary party. Officially our first public trading was November 2019.
What online platforms do you sell from / do you have a physical shop?
At the moment we sell from our website, email and social media.
Due to covid, we have had to adapt our plans. For us, 2020 was meant to be our first full year of trading. We had a calendar full of events booked in and then covid hit and they all got scrapped.
During the first lockdown, we just couldn't sit around waiting and got to work. We had many different ideas but landed on offering our 'reheat when you wanna eat' idea which is pizzas delivered cold for customers to reheat.
It was a little out there at the time, before the onslaught of finish at home meal options. Most food businesses just shut or offered hot delivery/collection. We didn't have the facilities to offer that so went with an idea we've actually always utilised at home. We would do a cook and feed the kids theirs, let ours cool and reheat them when the kids had gone to bed.
The quality is still great, it's convenient and most Neapolitan pizza arrives cold anyway.
Thankfully people really got on board with the idea and we did 10 or so weeks of back to back sell out weeks.
Throw in a newborn baby and it was a pretty mad time. But it saved our business and grew it more than we ever could've imagined!
What are your ambitions, where do you see the business going?
A pizza place, in one fixed location, is the dream.
We don't want a restaurant we want a pizza place. Somewhere small and casual so we can really get to know our customers.
What has been the highlight so far of running your business?
Seeing the joy our pizzas brought people in the first lockdown was incredible. And also, just surviving and keeping the lights on this year.
Every month that goes by that we can keep making enough to survive is a real high five moment for us. Every single order is an incredible boost for us.
Anything else you would like to add or say?
Thank you for inviting me to do this. What you're doing is great and we really appreciate the support.
If you could give one piece of advice for anyone looking to start their own business what would it be?
Don't focus purely on the numbers at the beginning. It can be scary jumping out from a full-time job but if you've got a great product/brand that you believe in then go for it.
Being a business owner is great, it is hard work but if you're doing something you love it doesn't really feel like work.
Well, thank you Dan.
If you fancy trying out Big Slice's pizza (I can assure you, it is the BEST delivery pizza that has ever entered my body) details below:
I think you'll agree Big Slice's story is truly inspiring. With all the odds thrown against them, Dan took the situation and made it work.
It's scary being self-employed at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic.
But here we are, the world is still turning albeit very slowly at times.
If you have a passion that you've wondered about turning into a business then WHY NOT JUST DO IT?
If there ever was a time, it is now.
P.S Running a business from home is HARD WORK, and when you're on your own, being an entrepreneurial octopus just doesn't work out.
I can take care of the tasks you don't have time to do, such as respond to email enquiries, issue your invoices or business research.
Don't let a lack of support stifle your business, instead let me help you grow 🌱
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org