Young entrepreneur to open his first ever restaurant on the back of successful mobile pizza business

A Croyde entrepreneur who began by selling ice cream on a North Devon beach is about to open a pizza kitchen in Braunton.

Tom Honey’s business Stoned has gone from strength-to-strength since he bought his first pizza oven aged 16, recruited some friends and began selling freshly made wood-fired pizzas at local campsites.

With a roaring fire, flying flour, dough and ingredients, Tom and his friends created ‘kitchen theatre’ that proved an instant hit.

The ‘pop-up’ sessions will continue but early in May the new café and pizza kitchen will open in the centre of Braunton and Tom, 20, hopes it will take his business to the next level.

“I really want to make a go of it as an all-year-around place and we really do want the support of local people,” he said.

“There will be nine full time staff plus another 25 part time working on the pop-ups and we’re recruiting at the moment.”

During the day the shop will sell coffee, sandwiches and snacks – and pizza in the evening.

Along with classic pizza flavours, Tom’s creations also include rump steak and balsamic mushrooms plus lobster and champagne-soaked tomatoes.

Joining the team is artisan baker Melissa, who has worked in a two-star Michelin restaurant.

It is a far cry from selling ice cream on the beach at Lee Bay, but Tom said: “From the start I just prioritised it by customer satisfaction,” he said.

“I never wanted to go to uni, I always wanted to go into business and get into that world.”