The Pizza Cabina in Truro, Cornwall, is a fascinating entrepreneurial story. It’s about one man’s burning passion for traditional Napoli style pizza and how his commercial faith in the largest available Fuego wood fired pizza oven, and the support of his family, made it happen.
It all began when Jono, who trained at the Margaret River Bakery in Western Australia, was cooking pizza for close friends whilst camping in France. He’d been entertaining friends and family for years with his mouth-watering pizzas and ‘to die for’ bread, but on this occasion, his friends floated the idea that he should create pizzas as a business. They were that good.
Back in Cornwall, Jono and three other members of his family pooled their skills to create The Pizza Cabina – a pizza restaurant housed, unusually, in two shipping containers. They wanted to do things properly and looked everywhere for the most authentic wood fired pizza oven capable of creating the perfect Napoli style pizza. Jono knew that stone based electric pizza ovens just couldn’t instil that wonderful smoky flavour only a wood fired oven can. So, after researching the wood fired pizza ovens on the market, he chose the Fuego brand due to the friendly and informative staff, artisan approach, the unrivalled heat retention qualities of the handmade clay ovens and the authentic look.
“The Fuego 90 was the perfect pizza oven for my restaurant. It looks great, is reasonably priced, well made and can cook up to six 12-inch pizzas at a time. It gets up to optimal temperature in no time, requires very little wood and because it’s so well insulated, it holds its heat for a long time. It’s the heart and soul of my business” enthused Jono.
Jono initially thought that Fuego wood fired pizza ovens were only for restaurants with alfresco cooking facilities. However, he realised that it would be perfectly suited to his innovative shipping container restaurant. The two 20-ft containers – one the kitchen, one the dining room, were incidentally only ever used once on a voyage from Japan to Plymouth, so they were practically new.
Using the Fuego Customisation Tool online, Jono was able to create a wood fired pizza oven that is entirely bespoke to his business. After selecting the largest of the three sizes, he specified the full brick exterior for a completely authentic look and chose to have a cast iron oven door and with a glass window.
The Pizza Cabina needed a long flue as the containers have a high 9-foot 6-inch roof, plus they required another 10 feet of flue for the exterior. “It’s mounted on a solid wooden frame, which is fine, as the oven is so well insulated, the underside doesn’t actually get that hot. And even with the long flue, the airflow is easy to control – it works brilliantly” explained Jono.
In terms of installation, Jono happened to have a friend with a forklift. With the containers having high ceilings and such easy access, it was a doddle to drive in and drop it on the stand. However, not everyone is lucky enough to have a mate with a forklift or unrestricted access. That’s why we have a partner company, Hook-up Solution, who offers a bespoke installation service at preferential rates. Their Hooka crane is powerful, gentle on paths, can turn on a sixpence and is perfect for safely lifting and transporting even our largest ovens to the most difficult to get to spots.
What Jono also liked about the Fuego 90 is that not only can he turn orders around fast due to its six pizza maximum capacity, it added authenticity, theatre and honesty to the restaurant.
“We use top ingredients for our pizzas, which are always on show. Customers can watch us prepare them – they know exactly what goes into our pizzas. We mounted the oven at a height where customers can see the flames and their pizzas cooking inside. They can see we are completely open, honest and genuine” said Jono.
As a pizza chef, Jono knows the importance of good dough. To make the bases for his Napoli style pizzas, he creates a 3-day cold rise dough which gives him that authentic taste and texture. But he doesn’t just cook pizza in his Fuego.
Jono revealed that “At the end of the night, if we have any leftover dough balls, we bake them into mini loaves for the family. It’s a traditional Italian thing. The bread is very relaxed in texture with an Italian ciabatta-like structure. It’s wonderfully chewy with a lovely leathery crust. It’s perfect for bacon rolls or sliced, toasted and buttered hot.”
When asked to finally sum up what he thinks of his Fuego wood fired pizza oven, Jono said “My dough and my Fuego are a great combination. They’re both 100% artisan made and completely authentic. They work brilliantly together. The Fuego really is the heart and soul of my kitchen.”
“Our Fuego wood oven has transformed our restaurant! As a piece of kit, it is extremely versatile and controllable, allowing us to roast all of our meats and vegetables in the wood burning oven as well as using it as a charcoal grill during service. The flavour of everything coming out of the Fuego clay pizza oven is incredible due to the amazing smoky, charred tones added to the smell and taste of everything that’s cooked in it. It is not expensive to run as all the kiln-dried wood we use heats the wood fired pizza oven pretty quickly and it retains its temperature really well, only needing to add logs to the fire a few times over the course of service.”
“We wanted a traditional wood oven that ticked lots of boxes, for us it had to be made of brick for the authentic feel, have amazing functionality and great quality. Our Fuego clay pizza oven ticks them all. Our pizza nights are such a fantastic feature for the guests that stay in our holiday cottages and it’s a great way of bringing friends and family together for making those special memories. Highly recommended”
“The traditional methods used within its construction and the unrivalled ability to retain heat have thoroughly impressed us. It has been a welcome addition to our BBQ and live music events. We cannot recommend the Fuego brand enough and it has been extremely popular with our chefs and customers alike.”