Three cousins in Bolton have managed to launch a flourishing pizza business after commandeering a back-garden pizza oven.
The trio behind Cugini started cooking pizzas for collection using their aunt’s decade-old pizza oven earlier this year.
Mere months later, they’ve amassed 380,000 followers on TikTok and are moving out of the back garden in Harwood to take up a residency at Edgworth Cricket Club.
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Cugini – which translates from Italian to ‘cousins’ – was set up during lockdown, where the relatives found themselves with limited work and a lot of restlessness.
Dino Clarke, 19, Callum Tombs, 26 and Connor Close, 27, had been cooking authentic wood-fired pizzas for their family members for a while, but decided to begin selling them to the public as pick-up orders.
The success was rapid, helped along by viral moments like their Ikea meatball pizza, and starting a debate (viewed by 16 million people) about how much cheese should be on a pizza.
Callum, a trained chef, said: “Through lockdown we didn’t really know what to do and we were struggling to work.
“We’d been cooking pizzas for our families for a while and just thought ‘let’s just give it a go and see what happens’.
“Once we started getting a big following on social media it went mental.
“Most people were coming from the local area but we were getting people travelling from Stockport and Chorley and eating their pizzas in their car parked outside the house!
“We couldn’t wish for any better really.”
The cousins will be launching their residency at Edgworth Cricket Club this weekend.
Callum continued: “We’re really excited about that, it’s the next step for us.
“Hopefully it can be a stepping stone to opening our own place, which is really the goal for us.”
And on working with his family members, he added: “We’ve butted heads on a couple of things but we’re an Italian family, we’re quite loud and have big personalities.
“But we absolutely love being able to spend so much time with each other.”
Cugini will launch at Edgworth Cricket Club over the weekend of October 2 and 3.
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