Following time at University and working abroad, best friends Ross Keady and John Nicholson have taken the plunge and launched their own business, Fire & Dough. A stylish wood-fired pizza van serving traditional Neapolitan-style pizzas.

The Queen Elizabeth High School, Hexham alumni, came up with the idea over two years ago and have been developing the business and saving the funds ever since, working hard in various roles to make their target investment figure. With a focus on good quality ingredients, style and excellent service with personality, they hope to start the summer season with a bang.

Friends for over 20 years, the two Newcastle housemates met through rugby and school and have been close ever since. The duo is looking forward to working together and meeting new people across the North East as they take on a totally new challenge. Following significant investment into renovations, recipe/ ingredients research and professional equipment, the business can finally get off the ground, much to their excitement.

Along with decisions on kit and technical aspects, Fire & Dough have made the choice to secure a specialist Italian supplier that they have been working with closely on recipe development. Expect to see bold flavours, experimental options, old favourites, plenty of local ingredients and fresh dough made by hand daily.

John said: ‘It’s been a lifelong ambition to be self-employed and whilst it’s scary starting off, we’re really looking forward to the task ahead, doing it with my best friend only makes it better! We’ve secured pitches in Northumberland already and hope to also work at places like weddings, parties and corporate events as well as in Newcastle.

We’ve worked hard on the design of the van to make it as attractive and modern as possible whilst also focusing on the authenticity. We found a specialist company in London to carry out the renovations because we knew they had the best reputation and we’re over the moon with the result, it looks amazing’.

Ross said: I’m really passionate about creating the best pizzas we possibly can and have been working on getting our recipes perfect to make sure that happens. We won’t be compromising on quality and we want to make sure we get it just right. It helps that we’ve both eaten a lot of pizza, good and bad!

 We are both fans of the Newcastle food scene and are looking forward to being part of it. It’s great to see the growth in the region particularly within the food and drink industry, it’s something we’ve definitely noticed and seeing everyone support each other is amazing too, we’re excited to finally be getting started, it’s been a long time coming’.

In order to whet the appetite of potential customers, Fire & Dough will be holding a ‘pizza party’ on Saturday May 12th at Tynedale Cricket Club, Hexham. Serving complimentary pizzas from 7pm, with a licenced bar on-site, it’s hoped that the event will be a roaring success. All are welcome to come with the pair hoping to prove themselves and get the word out.