Food & Drink

Croydon street pizza business looking to expand with new food truck

A man who crowdfunded to start a Croydon street pizza business is aiming to raise more funds to grow the enterprise.

Alex Robson, 34, founder of Penny’s Pizza Place, crowdfunded enough money last year to start up his business and now he wants to take it a step further and buy a food truck.

He started the business in November after becoming redundant from his advertising job due to the pandemic.

Robson said: “What I aim to achieve is to bring authentic and delicious Neapolitan pizza to Croydon, which I must say I don’t think it has.

“Having a food truck would be way more convenient and I could transport more of my kitchen supplies and food around instead of bringing ten tables and everything else that I need.

“So that’s the next step and, of course, the world is opening up again so there’ll be events that will start happening and other venues that I will be able to bring Penny’s Pizza on wheels to.”

HAPPY CUSTOMERS: Robson at his stand in Croydon’s Surrey Street Market with customers

While he is not running the pizza stand in the market, he is currently offering a limited delivery service and has partnered with Deliveroo and Just Eat to make this happen.

He named the business after his mum who passed away from cancer in 2015 and was his biggest influence in teaching him how to cook.

Robson added: “One of the fondest memories I have is coming home from school and spending time with my mum in the kitchen and her teaching me how to cook so that’s what sparked my whole love of cooking to begin with, and learning how to make certain dishes, especially pizza.”

By moving to America when he was ten and living there for 17 years and travelling to Italy, he got the chance to taste different types of pizza from around the world and learned what ingredients are needed.

He began crowdfunding in September last year and by early November had raised £3000 in six weeks, which was enough money to set up his pizza business stand in Surrey Street Market in Croydon.

As well as selling pizza to the market-goers, he joined up with the Art & Craft beer bar on Surrey Street in December, serving customers there as Tier 2 restrictions only allowed outlets to sell alcohol if they offered a substantial meal too.

Before starting the pizza business, he was a sales director and after months of struggling to find work in the advertising industry following his redundancy, he thought of an idea to combine his sales skills with cooking, a huge passion of his.

He said that although he has a lot of experience in the advertising field it was never a passion of is and that he was really pleased to end up with his own pizza business.

You can follow @pennyspizzaplace on social media or you can visit the website.

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