A PIZZERIA has marked two years in business after gaining a cult-like following from people across north Essex.

Brothers-in-law Tom Long and Tom Bell run Cowabunga Pizza, on Mersea Island.

The pair launched the business in October 2018 specialising in takeaway pizza and milkshakes.

Despite lockdown meaning they had to close for a couple of weeks, the duo bounced back and have gained even more customers.

The pandemic saw them launch their DIY kits for children to craft their own signature dishes.

Mr Long, who is the manager, said: “We spent the first year or so getting our name out in the community and growing at a steady pace, then when lockdown was announced in March we were able to quickly adapt to the challenging environment and the business exploded.

“We offered contactless daily delivery to the whole island, including the beach and beach huts, which was a huge success owing to the number of people enjoying a staycation.

“We also launched DIY pizza at home kits for families to pass the time with schools closed.”

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The success of the business has seen the duo create three new part-time roles and diversify their menu.

Mr Bell, who is the pizza chef, added: “We’ve been extremely fortunate and grateful to the community for supporting us throughout 2020 when we know so many other places are facing real difficulties.

“Being on the coast, we expect to head into winter quieter than the summer, but the new lockdown measures are going to affect all areas of hospitality and we can only hope that people are able to continue to support the town’s independents.”

Find out more at www.cowabunga-pizza.com or check @cowabungapizzashop on social media.

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Many of these businesses spent months being closed and some faced tight restrictions once they could reopen.

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