June 2022: Trader of the Month - Tanio Pizza
Tell us a bit about your business:
We started during lockdown in 2020. I (Seb) lost my job in TV Production and it really made me realise I didn’t want to go back into that world, so it seemed like the right time to pursue my passion of food. Alongside my wife, Kara-Jessica, we started selling pizzas to friends and family in our back garden and before too long we were serving pizzas in a market in Coal Drops Yard and of course Catford!
How eco-friendly are you?
We use recycled materials where possible and reduce food waste as much as we can. We recently changed our flour from an Italian import to a UK based company, reducing our food mileage is one thing we’re trying to tackle this summer.
Why do you trade at Catford
We were both born and raised in Lewisham, so when we found out about the market it was the top of our list! We’re really proud to be from Lewisham, so it’s a genuine pleasure to trade at Catford Food Market alongside other local businesses. CFM has a real community feel that we haven’t really found at other markets.
How important is branding?
It’s often the first thing that anyone will see of your business so it’s huge. It instantly communicates who you are and what you’re about, a lot of the time it’s on a sub-concious level too. There’s still a lot more of our personality that we want to share on our social channels, but it does take time.
How important is customer service?
Like branding, it’s one of the first things that customers experience when they come to you. I think it’s nice that, as the founders, we have a chance to interact with people and share our story and we get to hear theirs as well. We’ve also found that at Catford, people become more than just ‘customers’ we’re really building a rapport and getting a real community feel from people who come back each month.
What does it take to be a successful trader?
I think you really need to love what you’re doing. It’s incredibly hard work, with early mornings and late finishes, as well as being quite physically demanding, so if you’re not driven you’ll probably give up sooner rather than later. It always helps to have supportive friends and family (who’ll buy what you’re selling when you’re just starting out!! For us, they were literally our first investors).
What are your plans for the future?
We’d love to eventually open a small brick and mortar site but for now we’re happy to keep growing and doing markets around South East London!