Rustington friends’ lockdown pizza oven project becomes a successful takeaway - on the driveway

Two best friends from Rustington have created a successful pizza business out of the depths of lockdown.

Wednesday, 2nd September 2020, 11:16 am

Elliott Barber had just begun a new job as a sous chef at Finch in Warwick Street, Worthing, when lockdown happened – so he decided to move in with his friend Toby Poole, 26, and his parents in Mill Lane, Rustington.

To offset the boredom of not working, the pair built a pizza oven in the garden: and as lockdown eased, they bought a trailer in London and are now running Pizza Plug in the driveway.

Elliott, 27, said: “It was all about turning a negative into a positive. It is a blessing for us, because it’s what we did to keep busy.

Best friends Elliott Barber and Toby Poole (wearing glasses) have set up a successful pizza business. Pic Steve Robards

“Every chef has a dream of having their own restaurant and never having the chance to do it.

“This is what we love to do; we are making people happy and serving good food.”

The duo both come from a culinary background, with Elliott having moved to Italy for a few months aged 17 before working in Carluccio’s in Chichester with Toby and then amassing years of experience in the industry.

What started as handing out a few pizzas to family and friends has now earned them almost 2,000 followers on Instagram and the phone ringing non-stop for orders during their evening trade. At their busiest, Elliott said they would be cooking 100 pizzas an hour in the trailer, which can house two at a time and take 60 seconds to cook. Calzone/pizza fusions and dessert pizzas topped with chocolate or mascarpone and fruit are some of their more unusual items.

Best friends Elliott Barber and Toby Poole (wearing glasses) have set up a successful pizza business. Pic Steve Robards SR2008272 SUS-200827-173318001

Elliott said they had organised collection slot times to keep disruption to neighbours to a minimum and thanked them and Toby’s parents for their support.

Due to its success, the pair are looking to find a restaurant in Rustington or Littlehampton to expand the business further. Visit pizzaplug.co for details.

Best friends Elliott Barber and Toby Poole (wearing glasses) have set up a successful pizza business. Pic Steve Robards
Best friends Elliott Barber and Toby Poole (wearing glasses) have set up a successful pizza business. Pic Steve Robards