MOBILE pizza company Soul Pizza Truck is in the running for a national award.

The Dawlish-based company, started during the Covid pandemic, is competing in the national British Street Food Awards.

The business, which serves speciality hand-stretched, log-fired sourdough pizzas is up against other street food traders for a spot in the national awards.

The business was launched in February 2021 by Sam Connett who found himself searching for a new job in the economic downturn caused by the Covid pandemic.

Having previously managed a pizza business in Bristol, Sam saw an opportunity to launch a mobile pizza business which now serves local communities, corporate events and weddings.

Soul Pizza has been selected from more than 3,000 applicants to compete in the southern regional heats of the British Street Food Awards are being staged over the Coronation weekend at Gun Wharf in Portsmouth.

For the event, Sam will be featuring a more refined menu which will showcase other local businesses he works with including Dawlish Warren based Forest Fungi, butchers, Cox and Laflin near Haytor and Hatari Hot Sauce in Mid Devon.

Sam said: ‘Traders sell their world class unique food to guests over the long weekend and will be battling to win the public vote, with the winner being announced at the end of the three day. 

‘The winner will then head to the UK finals, and from there could represent the UK at the grand finale of the European Street Food Awards in Germany.

‘The covid pandemic was devastating for a lot of businesses, especially in hospitality. I had returned to Exeter and while I was doing some short-term jobs locally, I had the idea of setting up my own mobile pizza business. 

‘I bought a second-hand food van and updated it with a top-end pizza oven and started trading by visiting local communities such as Dawlish, Chudleigh, Bovey Tracey and Clyst Heath in Exeter.

‘The support from local people, especially when they know this is a local start-up businesses, has been fantastic. 

‘We have also been invited to cater at corporate events and do weddings and birthday parties too.’

A team of five from Soul Pizza will be in Portsmouth over the weekend serving pizzas and hoping to win the customers vote for the regional winner. 

Sam added: ‘I am really looking forward to showing what we can do and taking a slice of our Devon magic to Portsmouth. 

‘I'm sure the competition will be tough, but it is a real honour to be asked to take part in the regional heats.’