About

Bare Bones Pizza produce Wood Fired Pizzas and is a family run company based in Birmingham. Father and Son team, Mike and Tim Evans are the main parts of the business, and the two you will meet the most. Daryl Evans is a silent partner, keeping us on the straight and narrow with her never-ending supply of optimism. James Kneller-Evans is our design guru and will be our main test dummy along with his wife Daisy when it comes to taste experiments.

Our journey began after Mike and Daryl went on holiday to France. Mike was looking for his next career opportunity when he read an article about the street food scene in the UK. Mike and Daryl have been to Thailand and loved the street food scene there. Tim lived in Viet Nam for a year where he did the same thing. With this love of eating delicious food on the street, as you watch the world go by, an idea was spawned.

The article focused on a new wave of traders that were taking over London their in Citroen H vans and selling everything from gourmet Burgers and Neapolitan style pizzas to Falafel and hand made ice cream. As soon as Mike got back from holiday he shared his idea with the rest of the family and the ball got rolling. Mike has been in catering all his life. From leaving home to work in hotels when he was sixteen, then working on the QE2 cruise liner as a waiter, working his way up to Area Management for The Restaurant Group (Frankie’s and Bennys et al) to working at Director level for a national fast food chain. With Mike’s experience of setting up and managing pizza restaurants, and the whole family’s love for the doughy, cheesy, tomatoey goodness, it was decided this was the way to go.

So now we knew what we wanted to make, but where were we going to make it? Street food to us was 50% the product and 50% how you sell it. And so began four months of trawling the internet, reading books about the scene, hours in front of the TV watching Eat Street on the Food Network and miles upon miles upon miles of driving up and down the country to see different pizza vans in action (it’s alright for some eh?).

 

Our First Van

We knew we wanted a van. Trailers would be to difficult to move with Tim’s terrible parking skills and we’ve seen Gazebos nearly get blown away in the wind. So a van it was. However this didn’t make our search any easier. Next we had to decide between a vintage van or a modern van. To begin with we were sold on a vintage Citroen H Van. We had seen them out and about and they looked amazing, because they were originally made to be horse vans, they had plenty of space to convert into a working kitchen. However they do have their downfalls.

These vans stopped being produced in the 70’s. They only have three gears and top out at about 40mph, and that’s before you fit two tonnes of kitchen equipment in the back. They are notorious for breaking down, with spare parts being very difficult to come by. A lot of people tow their H Vans incase they break down en route to a booking, but this is just all extra cost (on top of the £20,000+ for the van!) and set up time. After speaking to other traders, and visiting some coach fitters for advice we decided that reliability was much more important to us than going vintage.

This gave us three options: Citroen Relay, Mercedes Sprinter or Volkswagen Crafter. Essentially the difference between these vans is minimal, so it would all come down to price, miles on the clock, warranty and, most importantly, air conditioning. We knew we needed air conditioning. After a few weeks of searching we found the perfect Citroen Relay in Swindon. The search was over and we were one step closer!

 

the Oven

Back to the pizza. We knew from the start that we wanted the best wood fired pizza oven we could get. And there’s only one place to go – Dingley Dell Ovens in Kidderminster. Dingley Dell is owned by Jay Emery, a very passionate South African who hand crafts all his ovens on his farm. We’d seen other people using them, and after a meeting with Jay we knew we had to have one. The oven can get to temperatures of 500c, so we can cook a pizza in under a minute at a rate of 80 pizzas an hour.

Finally we needed a name. After a few non-starters, Mike came up with Bare Bones Pizza. The idea is that all our products are natural and organic, not bulked out with nasty additives, a stripped back style. The freshest ingredients also means we can deliver the healthiest pizza we can. The name also lends itself to a million puns, some better than others…

Now we have the van, we’ve chosen a coach fitters and chosen the oven. We are good to hit the road and start selling pizzas! Bare Bones Pizza is available anywhere we can drive to. We are based in Birmingham, so its unlikely we’ll be doing any events in the Outer Hebrides anytime soon, but if the gigs good enough you may just see us there. Check out our calendar on the Find Us page to see where we’ll be trading and go to the Contact Us page for any booking enquiries.