A Cheltenham-based street food business has successfully pivoted after Covid-19 wiped out its core business.
Before lockdown in March, Street food and event catering business, the Woozy Pig, run by Matt Jefferies, sold its food at festivals, events and weddings across the country, but due to Covid-19 their business plan changed.
The Woozy Pig were pretty much fully booked for events during 2020, and had bought a new airstream-style food truck.
When lockdown was announced, Matt said he was a little panicked. “I think that if I had known what was going to happen, I probably wouldn’t have bought the new truck as it’s been a big investment for us, but I’ve always been quite a positive person and didn’t let it knock me down, I just knew that we would need to adapt.”
The business launched a ‘re-heat at home’ delivery service. Matt set up a website to sell some of his most popular street food offerings to be easily re-heated and enjoyed at home via a contact free delivery service.
It launched to meet local demand, aiming to limit it to around 100 – 120 local addresses, but the demand has been overwhelming, they had to invest in commercial smokers and extra fridge/freezers to cope with demand.
Matt also explained “It felt pretty amazing to have the support from everyone that’s ordered, and I feel that we have done something completely different to what we are used to doing and come out ‘the other side’ of it positively, and even with another potential perspective of how The Woozy Pig could operate in the future.”
Having outgrown his prep space at Matt’s home kitchen being a street food trader, he is about to look for commercial space from which to operate a take-out service from as well as some BBQ / cooking classes, and host pop-up events.
“I am also hoping we can pick up where we left off at the start of March 2020. We are only in our third year of trading and in 2020, I was looking forward to doing some slightly larger festivals,” added Matt.
“We were invited to trade at Cheltenham’s Jazz Festivals, but it was one of the first to cancel because of COVID-19 as it’s always during the first weekend of May.”
The Woozy Pig’s background & what inspired the business.
The name ‘The Woozy Pig’ came after a boozy day at one of Cheltenham’s local food festivals ‘The Cheltenham Food Festival’ with a couple of friends. Matt said: “I love going to festivals, and for me, the food was almost as important as the bands playing. I would always be looking at the food trucks trying to find something I had not had before.”
Matt, who had trained as a chef after leaving school, was looking to get back into the industry, after being made redundant from an office job, he decided to start a street food business.
To find out more about the Woozy Pig visit their website here or follow them on Instagram @thewoozypig.