Winners go to Westminster - The Worcester Observer

Winners go to Westminster

Worcester Editorial 28th Nov, 2021   0

WORCESTERSHIRE brothers were invited to Westminster after they scooped success at the SJL National Start-Up Business Awards

Brothers Josh Birbeck, 30, and Joe Birbeck, 26, from Hartlebury have won the category for the UK’s Best Pivot Entrepreneurs Award in the SJL National Start-Up Business Awards and a £2,000 cash injection.

Josh lost his retained client in his self-employed social media company and Joe lost his job as a casual chef when the first lockdown happened in March 2020.

Both men did not qualify for any government furlough money so they decided they would be safer working for themselves in their next role rather than being an employee and five months later Urban Village Pizza was born.

Back in the summer of 2020, the brothers moved back in with their mum, a part time administrator for the NHS.

Josh sold his car so they could afford to buy a van for the business. The men worked 12-hour shifts over four consecutive days working a 48-hour week at the Worcester Covid test site for one year with G4S to help with testing.

Then they would use the next four days to work on their new business, investing their wages that they made working at the Covid testing site, straight into their business.

Urban Village Pizza provides fresh pizza for takeaway or collection in rural areas which aren’t in a delivery catchment area. The brothers chose urban locations to put on their street food events also with pubs which don’t offer food.

Rather than buying frozen ready-made dough, the duo buy all their ingredients from Italian suppliers and make their own home-made dough on their mum’s kitchen table using a secret recipe that is attracting five-star customer reviews.

“As a start-up business an injection of cash will help us to expand into festivals in 2022, along with employing a new full-time member of staff. We have been kneading the dough by hand so a grant would mean we can purchase a new mixer for the fresh dough,” Josh said.

Joe Birbeck, who is the head chef said: “Combining my chef skills and Josh’s social media marketing skills we thought we would make a great team and so Urban Village Pizza would work, and it has.

“So much so, that when we do pop ups in village locations, we have usually sold out before arriving and can’t take any more orders whilst parked up, but just cook the pizzas that were pre-ordered.”

Worcester MP Robin Walker MP said: “These awards are a fantastic opportunity provided by the SJL Foundation to recognise innovative and ambitious entrepreneurs who been through a tough couple of years but have done so fighting.

“Not only do winners receive cash for their business, but important support including a cash grant, allowing the businesses to grow which is what the SJL Foundation is all about.”


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