Coventry pizzeria looks to grow after getting a slice of business support

A start-up pizza business in Coventry is hoping for a slice of the events industry action after innovating to ensure they survived lockdown.

Pictured: Tom Capell, proprietor of Surf and Slice, and Keely Hancox of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.

The owner of a start-up pizza business in Coventry is hoping for a slice of the events industry action after innovating to ensure his company survived lockdown.

Former Coundon Court student Tom Capell launched Surf and Slice in 2019 after deciding to leave his role as quality controller at Jaguar Land Rover after five years with the company.

Having always wanted to work in the catering sector, he bought a mobile wood-fired pizza trailer.

While Tom’s focus was on the quality of the pizzas, he had no experience of running a business and so sought the help of the local Chamber of Commerce, who helped him set up a business bank account and manage his finances.

The business got off to a positive start, operating at Cannon Park Shopping Centre in the city and also taking private bookings for events.

But when the coronavirus pandemic hit, Surf and Slice’s market dried up meaning Tom had to come up with a new way of keeping the business 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 Dhillon’s 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.”

Tom thanked the Chamber of Commerce for their “invaluable” support when he was first starting out.

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.

For more information on support from the Chamber, contact 024 7665 4321.