A jazz musician from Chiswick has gone from baking pizza in his driveway during lockdown for charity to owning his own restaurant in Hammersmith.
Tim Thornton, 32, originally started Base Face Pizza from his home to raise money for NHS charities after the Covid-19 pandemic hit and turned his life upside down.
Before he started making roadside pizza, Thornton had spent the last 10 years as one of the UK’s most in-demand bassists, touring the world and playing on stages from Glastonbury to the Royal Albert Hall.
Thornton said: “I just wanted to bring a bit of joy back to the community.
“I was making pizzas and giving them away to neighbours, friends and anyone who wanted one, just asking for donations to the NHS and not charging for them.
“I think like anything, you’ve got to do a lot of it before you get good at it, the same as learning to play music.
“I was I was lucky that I had the opportunity to make 1000 pizzas and get them to customers without charging because I learned my trade.
“Over the first year I ended up doing roughly 6000 pizzas.”
After the popularity of his pizzas started to slowly rise around the neighbourhood Thornton decided move away from his driveway and trade at Ravenscourt Farmer Market over the weekends.
A residency at a local wine shop in Acton quickly followed, where he cooked pizza five days a week, growing an even larger following.
Thornton said he spent the last year researching and tweaking his recipe with different blends of flour and hydration to develop the perfect dough for a Neapolitan pizza.
Thornton said: “I’ve ended up using a crossbreed between durum wheat and wild barley, they’ve got a much lower GI than regular wheat flour, so they’re more digestible and still have this sweet flavour.
“All of my toppings are produced as close to the restaurant as I can get.
“I also supporting small, independent producers, that’s the ethos of what I’m trying to do here.”
Frustrated with the ever-changing reopening dates for the hospitality industry in-between lockdowns, Thornton took a leap of faith and found himself a permanent site in Hammersmith to lay permanent roots to his business.
Thornton added: “I’m very excited to be in Hammersmith, we’re almost fully booked for the first week.
“I can’t wait to get the doors open and start making some pizza.”
Base Face Pizza, named after the musical instrument Thornton plays, will open to the public at 300 King Street in Hammersmith on Wednesday 9th June.
Featured image credit: Base Face Pizza