A LAKE District foodie has brought portable pizza to the national park by serving up his own freshly-made creations from the side of a retro Citroen van.

In setting up ‘Dude’s Dough’, 28-year-old Guy Sandys returned to his roots after almost 15 years away from Cumbria - moving back to Graythwaite, where he grew up.

“I was brought up here. It’s where I wanted to be,” said Mr Sandys.

“I’ve always felt very passionate about living in this area, and it was just the right time to do it.”

He spent around £27,000 buying a 1979 Citroen H van and having it converted into a fully-functional kitchen which incorporates a wood-fired oven, hot and cold water and fridges.

“I’ve always been interested in vehicles, and especially classic vehicles,” he said.

“I like the idea of trying to merge a classic vehicle with a food offering of some sort.”

He now serves up freshly-made pizzas from the van, and produced as many as 250 a week during the height of summer.

“I’ve always been a massive foodie, I’ve always been into street food, I’ve always followed it,” he said.

“It’s Neapolitan-style pizza which is made from strictly flour, water, yeast and salt.

“All the dough is made fresh. It’s proved for 18 hours, bulk fermented, and then it’s all balled up by hand, and then it proves for another four hours before service.”

Having quit a farming job in Hampshire to move back up north at the end of last year, he originally intended to supply private events with mobile catering.

The van was kitted-out and operational from January of this year. However, when Coronavirus hit and events such as weddings were universally cancelled or postponed, Mr Sandys had to return deposits he had received and look at alternative income streams.

During lockdown, he sold pizza from Graythwaite one night a week and from Hawkshead square another evening.

Once lockdown ended he had a ‘good couple of months’ - adding the Anglers Arms at Haverthwaite to his roster of sites. When summer finished and children returned to school, business ‘crashed’.

But, when the van is returned later this month following an engine rebuild, Mr Sandys will resume selling pizzas - from locations in Hawkshead, Graythwaite and Cartmel - and hopes to be able to expand and add more sites to the list.

Visit dudesdough.com for more.