- Ben Lyth, Jamie Morrall and twin brothers Jacques and Beni Barker, all 19 years old, launched Dirty Donkey Ltd. amidst the boredom of the pandemic lockdown.
- The young men bought an old horse trailer and used social media to document their progress as they converted it into a food trailer.
The pandemic has spurred innovation and entrepreneurship across the world, but a group of teenagers from Solihull, England, might be the only ones who have turned an old horse trailer into a pizza shop.
Identical twins Jacques and Beni Barker partnered with their pals Ben Lyth and Jamie Morrall to launch Dirty Donkey Ltd., a pizzeria on wheels that already has started booking catering events, including weddings. All of the owners are just 19 years old, according to Birmingham Live.
The young men had been planning to go into business together since completing their A-levels at Solihull School in the midst of the pandemic last year. “We were all suffering from lockdown boredom and decided to combine our subject knowledge in hospitality and business and put our heads together to come up with our own business,” Lyth told Birmingham Live. “We saw an advert selling an old horse box, and we just decided to go for it.”
The four young men worked together to convert the horse trailer into a pizza kitchen and marked their progress with photos and videos on social media along the way, drawing attention to the project ahead of time. The Dirty Donkey had only been in operation for one week when they booked their first wedding. The father of the groom was so impressed that he wrote a testimonial for their Facebook page.
“Dirty Donkey catered our son’s wedding,” the happy dad wrote. “They were friendly, professional and informative from start to finish. The service was fab, and all of the staff looked the part. The pizzas were freshly made, tasted superb and were much appreciated by everyone. We would thoroughly recommend them and will be looking to use them again in the near future.”
In addition to a pizza called the Dirty Donkey (made with pepperoni, ham, peppers, onions and burger sauce), the young entrepreneurs also offer a classic Margherita and a specialty pie featuring Canadian bacon and maple syrup.
They have more weddings lined up and will park their trailer every Friday night this summer at the Hampton and Solihull Cricket Club.
“We’ve just been jumping over every hurdle as it comes,” Lyth said. “We all had a lot of ideas when it came to what the business should be … We’ve always been the type of people to take up every opportunity we can, so when this chance came up, we went for it.”