London cabbie runs pie and mash delivery service after Covid slashes fares

An enterprising London black cab driver has launched a pie and mash supply service after seeing his revenue plummet in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Fridays and Saturdays, 31-year-old Josh Kelly masses the again of his taxi with takeaway meals to take to prospects throughout his Islington neighbourhood within the north of the capital.

Popham Pies – named after the housing property by his home from the place he runs the enterprise – was born in November after Mr Kelly had endured months of absent fares.

Taxi driver Josh Kelly is using his black cab to deliver specially prepared meals of traditional pie and mash (Victoria Jones/PA)Taxi driver Josh Kelly is utilizing his black cab to ship specifically ready meals of conventional pie and mash (Victoria Jones/PA)

“It’s just about my major job now as a result of there’s simply no work within the taxi in the meanwhile – clearly with the lockdown no-one’s going wherever,” he instructed the PA information company.

“When lockdowns come to an finish there may be some work, however little or no, nonetheless fairly unhealthy. So this was simply one thing to type of assure me a bit more cash per week.”

He added: “It’s powerful whenever you go from working six, seven days every week to doing nothing. So I actually needed to provide you with one thing myself.”

Mr Kelly, who has been a taxi driver for six years, mentioned inspiration got here from a fellow cabbie who opened his personal meals stall in Billericay, Essex.

Taxi driver Josh Kelly collects traditional pie and mash from one of London’s oldest suppliers, M Manze, in Bermondsey (Victoria Jones/PA)Taxi driver Josh Kelly collects conventional pie and mash from one in every of London’s oldest suppliers, M Manze, in Bermondsey (Victoria Jones/PA)

He mentioned he noticed a “hole available in the market” and was interested in the thought of mixing two long-standing components of London tradition.

“It’s conventional London and pie and mash in a standard taxi, so I simply thought it could catch individuals’s consideration,” he mentioned.

“It’s a really conventional London factor, identical to the black taxi is, in order that’s why I tied the 2 collectively.”

Mr Kelly sources the minced beef pies and mash from M Manze in Bermondsey, south London – one of many oldest pie retailers within the capital.

Taxi driver Josh Kelly prepares his pie and mash deliveries (Victoria Jones/PA)Taxi driver Josh Kelly prepares his pie and mash deliveries (Victoria Jones/PA)

Clients can order their Popham Pies packaged meals over Instagram, Fb or Whatsapp, with a single pie and mash serving costing £5.

Mr Kelly mentioned he’s as much as 1,600 followers throughout Instagram and Fb and estimates he has to this point delivered near 1,000 pies.

He mentioned prospects have loved the meals and appreciated the service, particularly since there aren’t any different pie and mash choices domestically.

“Lots of people in Islington will know a taxi driver, or their pals or household are taxi drivers, they usually know that we’re struggling, so I feel after they see the 2 collectively they suppose ‘Nicely, I can order off him… we’re serving to out’,” Mr Kelly mentioned.

Taxi driver Josh Kelly said he was attracted to the idea of combining two long-standing parts of London culture (Victoria Jones/PA)Taxi driver Josh Kelly mentioned he was interested in the thought of mixing two long-standing components of London tradition (Victoria Jones/PA)

Usually used to interacting along with his passengers, he mentioned it’s good to satisfy prospects who’re each younger and previous.

He mentioned one buyer not too long ago contacted him and talked about her grandparents of their 80s.

“She was saying how they barely get out they home, clearly due to Covid, they’ve been shielding.

“And she or he mentioned that she didn’t have any cash in any respect, she’s getting paid subsequent week. However I mentioned it’s advantageous I’ll ship this week and also you pay me whenever you’ve bought it.”

Mr Kelly mentioned the affect of successive lockdowns over the previous 12 months has been “terrible” for taxi drivers, who used to have the ability to work 24 hours a day in the event that they wished to.

“It’s gone from that to you would possibly work 10 hours and find yourself with £20,” he mentioned.

Josh Kelly hopes to be able to continue his pie and mash delivery service (Victoria Jones/PA)Josh Kelly hopes to have the ability to proceed his pie and mash supply service (Victoria Jones/PA)

“I don’t even exit within the taxi any extra, to be trustworthy, as a result of it’s simply not price it. Final time I went out I did 4 hours and I bought one job which was £16 and that lined the diesel.”

He added: “As soon as the pandemic is over there most likely might be lots much less cab drivers on the market.”

Mr Kelly mentioned he hopes to have the ability to proceed the pie and mash supply service, probably recruiting different cab drivers to develop into different areas of London.

He additionally desires to capitalise on his following by launching Popham Taxis, a phone black cab service, in April.

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