Father and son team launch meat-free 'cheeseburger' pizza
- Credit: Supplied
Two Norwich chefs reckon vegan pizzas are the way forward after getting £360,000 in extra grant funding 'dough'.
Mike and Joe Hill, who run One Planet Pizza in Hethersett, hit upon a best-seller when they devised a topping that tastes like a cheeseburger.
In fact the 'cheezeburger's burger chunks' are made from pea protein.
They are now hoping to get the product into supermarkets after getting a mega slice of new investment.
The pair, who started out working from a garage at home, now have a team of 10 and offer up to seven different toppings for their product which is frozen.
They offer a range from cheezly margherita to fungi feast and chick 'n' sweetcorn but none contain any meat. All of the pizzas are also 100pc palm oil free, enriched with flax and chia seed, with at least 50pc less salt and sugar than the average frozen pizza. They also do a gluten-free range.
Joe Hill said: "I never thought the cheezeburger pizza would work when I was putting gherkins on it but it just tastes amazing, just like the real thing, and it's our most popular one.
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"We have saturated the independent market, supplying to around 500 shops nationwide, and so to expand we really need to get into supermarkets like Waitrose and Sainsbury's. When we first started out, we were unchallenged but there are more vegan pizzas out there now but we still think we have a premium product.
"The future is indeed plant-based."
Mike Hill, who used to run the River Green cafe, in Trowse, saw the potential for the product back in 2016. The pizzas use special Applewood vegan cheese which melts well as well as recyclable packaging and vegetable derived ink for printing.
To gain the new funding, they had to pitch, Dragon's Den style, to the Anglia Capital Group and New Anglia Capital, the equity investment fund set up by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.
Hannah Smith, investment director of Anglia Capital Group, said: “Our members loved the story behind One Planet Pizza. Veganism is on the rise and anything we can do to reduce our carbon footprint is surely a good thing, especially if it tastes good too.”