My story and Earth to Oven all started last spring. I am a passionate chef and have been lucky enough to enjoy working in a lot of different kitchens. I love cooking which was why I was gutted to be furloughed back in March over a year ago. I had always dreamt of creating my own brand, serving delicious fresh food made with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, so when the restaurant at which I was furloughed failed to re-open its doors, I started my journey with my own company - Earth to Oven.
Making the dream a reality
I started, during lockdown, by creating seasonal menus for takeaway or delivery, from home. With an outhouse full of packaging and a few extra fridges and freezers, it was great to be cooking for customers again. I got to know some wonderful people over the next few months. With the success of this new venture, I was encouraged to branch out. After lots of research, advice and discussions over spec and then some financial help from my family and the use of my own savings, I invested in a food trailer. I set about finding a pitch by visiting various venues and talking to various councils but it was a number of months before I managed to secure a pitch at Southsea.
The next few weeks were spent preparing to begin trading at the end of March. My first day arrived but we didn’t get to Southsea. Disaster struck on the A3 when the trailer started snaking, forcing us off the road where it rolled onto its side, causing enormous damage. Thankfully, no-one was hurt and no other vehicle was involved but the damage amounted to £16000. I was devastated.
Whilst I had insurance and although the paperwork seemed to suggest I was fully covered, a small clause stated that the trailer was not insured whilst in transit. It was hard to believe. How can a mobile trailer be insured but only when it’s stationary? Having borrowed money already and sunk all my savings into building the trailer, how was it going to be repaired?
Calling on your help
I was incredibly touched by the numerous messages of support after the accident and whilst I’m making the most of the Earth to Oven Gazebo and loving cooking down on Clarence Esplanade, the gazebo does have its limitations. I would love to be able to offer the full ETO experience the trailer facilitates - crispy Mac ’n’ cheese croquettes, anyone? Which is why I need your help. I’m looking to raise money to help pay for the repairs needed to get the trailer back on the road and down to Southsea for trading. So, if, after reading my story, you feel moved to help by offering a donation, however small, I would be so grateful.