A passion for pizzas has led a Swanage couple to turn a business idea during lockdown into a flourishing mobile takeaway service.
Coastal Crust Pizza, which has a mobile trailer and a unit at Prospect Business Park, was set up by Kate Trafford with help from her husband Rob. The focus is on using quality local produce and authentic recipes.
There was plenty of time during lockdown to research the perfect pizza recipes
“We love food”
“We love food and we really wanted a food business, so we bought a pizza oven in our garden and we put on a few parties for friends and family and it grew from there. I guess we got a bit ‘nerdy’ with it all, trying different pizza doughs and toppings.”
She used the time during furlough to do her research and come up with a business plan. The couple have a pizza trailer and gazebo set-up where they cater for takeaway evenings and events such as weddings and festivals.
Kate was previoiusly in aviation training and husband Rob is an air traffic controller. Her furlough research is now paying off handsomely with Rob helping out in his spare time.
The Coastal Crust pizza trailer
Linked up with friends
The couple were able to bounce ideas off good friends Will Moy and Sophie Tanner who set up a coffee business – Carve Coffee – a year earlier.
Both businesses were looking to expand and when a unit came up at Prospect Business Park in Swanage, they decided to share. Pizza and coffee are for sharing after all!
Kate had previously worked at the Land and Wave outdoor activity company, which is on the same industrial estate, and where Sophie is one of four directors.
Coastal Crust Pizza now shares a unit with friends’ business Carve Coffee
“Share the costs”
“It’s been great, better than we expected and as soon as events kicked off we were booked up.
“But we quickly realised that it was not sustainable to keep running out of our house and Sophie and Will were in a similar situation so we decided to go in together on an industrial space.
“It’s the perfect space for both our businesses to share. It means we can share the costs and bounce ideas off each other.”
Friends: the one about setting up in business – (Left to right) Will Moy, Sophie Tanner, Kate Trafford, Rob Trafford
“Right time to launch our new business”
Working before lockdown in the outdoor education sector, both Will Moy and Sophie Tanner found themselves with time on their hands during lockdown, as the industry was forced to temporarily close.
“We had always had an interest in coffee and we felt it was the right time to launch our new business while we had time to do it.”
They had a small coffee roaster and started with online sales in March 2020 during lockdown, working from a shed in the garden.
From a small coffee roaster in the garden shed to a whole business
“It was a nice surprise to find that we were getting regular orders and people were interested in our different coffee subscriptions.”
Coffee can be a complicated business, importing beans from different parts of the world according to the season. A lot of tasting later, to create a blend that they were both happy with, and their signature medium to light roast was ready to distribute.
They have discovered that their coffee is popular with delis and farm shops. The Riptide café in Poole, which opened at a similar time to the start of their business, approached them about creating their own special blend. The newly opened Studio South café in Swanage town centre also opted for their brand.
The Carve Coffee brew bar
The couple now have a brew bar at the new unit at Prospect Way, where people can also see where it’s all roasted and try the coffee. It’s open on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
As an added bonus Land and Wave also buy Carve Coffee to supply to all their school teachers at their campsite and seasonal staff often come over for Friday night pizza.
Friday night pizza
“Lot of satisfaction”
“It’s hard work but it’s something that we deeply enjoy and get a lot of satisfaction out of.”
Coastal Crust Pizza makes all its dough by hand using an authentic Italian recipe and uses as much local produce for the toppings as it can.
Currently they serve at The Globe Pub in Herston 5 pm to 8 pm and at their unit on Friday nights from 5 pm to 8 pm. These opening hours will be expanded to include Wednesday and Saturday nights at their unit through the summer holidays.
Full of beans – the businesses have been going from strength to strength