10:35AM, Thursday 25 November 2021
Luke and Owen Buckmaster
Twins from Cox Green have launched their own independent culinary business which allows consumers to recreate ‘restaurant-quality pizzas’ at home.
Luke and Owen Buckmaster, 21, refused to let the coronavirus pandemic get in the way of their plans to start Doughboys Pizza, which they have grown into a six-figure brand in less than 12 months.
The business partners launched the firm from their own home only a few weeks before the first national lockdown.
The start of the pandemic threatened to put a halt to the twins’ dreams of owning their own pizza empire, meaning the duo were forced to adapt their business strategy to reflect the landscape.
With the country being told to stay at home, and restaurants closing their doors, people were spending more time in the kitchen, which led to Luke and Owen recognising the growing trend of meal kits.
Doughboys Home Pizza Kits were born, which allows people to recreate restaurant-quality pizzas from the comfort of their home, with the bases made from a dedicated manufacturer in Italy.
This new business strategy also led to the twins gaining popularity online, with more than 10,000 followers on Instagram in the space of a few months.
As restrictions started to lift, the brothers primary trading activity, which involves supplying their award-winning pizza bases to a variety of hospitality venues, reached new heights and the team now supply to more than 200 businesses nationally.
Nearly 12 months on, they’ve sold hundreds of thousands of pizzas to customers across the UK and have generated more than £300,000 worth of sales.
Luke said: “During the pandemic pubs and restaurants were all forced to close and we saw that meal kits were taking a huge surge in growth. We were just looking at trends and where we could tap into.
"It's honestly a little mind-blowing to see how far we've come from when we first decided to start the business.
“To say it’s been a challenge would be an understatement, but I guess we must be doing something right. When we first started it was only a month before the first national lockdown.
"It has been an uphill battle but we have just kept looking at the market.
“This is just the start, but I’m confident we’re a step closer to Doughboys Pizza becoming a household brand.”
He added: "I was helping my friend out who ran a pub and she wanted to do pizzas, but the quality from UK wholesalers was really poor.
"We started looking at what products were available, and we came across some amazing pre-made bases in Italy.
"Off the back of that we managed to find a pizza manufacturer out there who was able to create a really amazing pizza base for us."
Luke explained that his customer base varies from places such as pubs and restaurants ordering just the pizza bases, to people at home wishing to buy all of the ingredients to create their own pizzas.
The pair’s success has not gone unrecognised, with Luke and Owen being shortlisted for the finals of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2021 within the Family Business Entrepreneur of the Year category.
"It was amazing to see that we were shortlisted," Luke said.
Plans to relocate to a larger office and warehouse premises in High Wycombe over the coming weeks is also in the pipeline, while Luke and Owen are preparing to expand their team.
Visit www.doughboys-pizza.co.uk or follow @dough boys_pizza on Instagram for more information.