A Romford-based pizza outlet has been named as “best takeway” and “best hospitality business” at this year’s Havering Small Business Awards.

Matt Redgrave, 35, started Ped’s Pizza in 2017 as a street food operation while working full time as a PE teacher at Davenant Foundation School in Loughton.

In 2019, he left his job aside to focus on the business with his wife, Lauren Redgrave, managing deliveries for private events. When the pandemic hit, it changed the course of their business and they had to switch to being just a takeaway.

Romford Recorder: Matt and Lauren Redgrave at the Havering Small Business Awards 2023Matt and Lauren Redgrave at the Havering Small Business Awards 2023 (Image: Riddhi Kachhela)

Matt recalled his journey and said: “We started with a little gazebo, clubs and small little markets and then moved into private events and then it grew quite big in 2019 and 2020.

“Then Covid hit and all the events were cancelled and we had to diversify a little bit. We started selling a lot of these from home”.

Matt would single-handedly make all the deliveries during the pandemic from their home in Hornchurch. The takeaway business flourished, and its success led to them opening their first restaurant in Gidea Park.

He told the Recorder in an interview last year: “I'm a big fan of Italian food and I like to do what Italians have always done: create simple food with quality ingredients."

Matt said the award is a recognition of their efforts and he is “over the moon” that the community has voted for them in large numbers.

His restaurant today employs several staff members to whom Lauren dedicates their award.

She told the Recorder: “I am really proud of Matt and he totally deserves it. But the staff who is working with him have been amazing and we couldn’t have done this if it wasn’t for those guys as well."