Former Scots footballer becomes top pizza chef after horror leg injury

A Scots footballer has become a successful pizza chef after getting a nasty leg injury that left him unable to play for the rest of the season.

Gavin Ritchie who formerly played for Dundee United decided to try something completely new with his partner by launching Pizza B. Goode in Glasgow - serving Napoli-style pizza from their vintage Piaggio Van.

The 24-year-old got the inspiration for the business after spending his time off the pitch watching daytime cooking shows where he saw an advert for an Ooni pizza oven and the rest is history.

Speaking to Glasgow Live Gavin opened up about the transition from pro-footballer to pizza chef.

He said: "I broke my leg during the last year of my contract at Dundee United, so I wasn't offered a new one basically. I then didn't think part-time football was for me, I wanted to play for a first team.

"While I was injured I was in a full leg cast so spent more time at home watching TV and the only thing on during the day was cooking shows so I started to really get into them. I saw an advert for Ooni Pizza Ovens so I bought one and started making them in the house.

"We started selling them to friends and family which then went onto us making a wee Instagram before selling them to the public from our driveway in lockdown.

"Coming from professional sport I had no cooking background, I just caught the bug and went for it. Thankfully the pizzas are better now than they were at the start!"

The couple then bought a van and "kitted it out" to sell pizzas which were a big hit at farmers markets in Perth. They continued to do private events before their move to Glasgow.

The young businessman put his success down to low prices, fresh ingredients and building a loyal fanbase.

Gavin says: "Our margins have gotten tighter because of the cost of living crisis, but we’ve continued to use the best ingredients from our suppliers because we believe that’s what keeps you busy and keeps customers returning.

"That, and we’ve kept our prices low despite the increasing costs, £8 for a Margherita is as cheap as it gets these days - people come because it is a cheaper alternative to eating at a restaurant."

Corin Camenisch, Product Marketing Lead at SumUp said: “Gavin’s story is a great example of how technology has lowered the boundaries of entry for small business owners, allowing anyone to set up a business in minutes.

"Lockdown provided people a chance to turn their side hustles into full-fledged enterprises, with this, SumUp’s mission is to empower entrepreneurs with the tools to pursue their passions, irrespective of their situation.

"With the business landscape proving to be increasingly treacherous for SMEs, who are faced with a multitude of challenges, including late payment cycles, rising energy costs and supply chain issues, technology has a key role to play in aiding their business journey and providing support.”

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