This month we talk to Louis Walters, co-founder of Pitch Up Pizzas, whose wood-fired pizzas are fast becoming a Teddington favourite.
When, and why, did you start your business?
Pitch-up Pizzas was started after my brother William and I became redundant overnight due to COVID-19. Previously I spent my days touring extensively in the music industry and Will ran a pub in Soho. Despite our differences (and there are a few!), a passion for good quality pizza united us.
What challenges did you face when setting up?
Lots! We started very quickly, throwing ourselves in at the deep end, which was great but presented lots of challenges: from learning about the art of dough, mastering the wood-fired oven to the logistics of finding specialist equipment during a global pandemic. Fortunately, we had invaluable help from our friend, Italian culinary maestro and discerning food critic Luca!
What valuable lessons have you learned?
The importance of great staff and a good team!
Is there anything you would do differently if starting out again?
Set clear goals and roles from the get-go. We’ve found this increases productivity and stops us treading on each other’s toes.
What advice would you share with other small businesses or those thinking of starting out?
Be prepared for a lot of work, lots of unforeseen challenges and long hours. If you’re committed, just start! Don’t waste too much time overthinking the small things, start and see how it goes.
What do you love most about running your own business?
All the challenges and learning curves that come with it. There is also a sense of pride you feel in building something of your own.
What’s your most popular service or product?
Everyone seems to love Pepperoni!! We knew it was popular but didn’t realise quite how much people love this classic.
What are your plans for the future of the business?
Expand and grow the team. We currently have the Teddington delivery service, a mobile set-up (which we take to the South Coast on the weekend and use for events) and we’re about to start a residency in Angel in central London. We hope this will give us a broad understanding of which avenues to pursue and expand on.
Name some other local independent businesses that you love to support
We love buying produce from L’Antica Bottega; it’s a great independent business in Hampton that imports a range of fantastic Italian food. Also, Kingston market is great for fresh produce.
What do you love about our local area?
We have some amazing parks! When you need a break it’s great to have that on your doorstep. We’re also just a short trip into central London.
And finally, tell us a little-known fact about yourselves
When my brother and I were growing up we were always being separated as we used to fight like there was no tomorrow. Now look at us, running a business together. Who would have thought it? Absolutely nobody!
To order your wood-fired pizzas for delivery or collection visit www.pitch-uppizzas.co.uk