The Story Of BBPS
It all started with a free Za...
With its roots at the University of Southampton, B.B.P.S started off as a parody University society, created by 4 friends who felt they hadn’t been involved with that aspect of university life.
A trip to a local bar (who were offering a free pizza with every pint) gave birth to the idea, which begun as an all-inclusive society dedicated to supplying members with discounted meals out. From that moment, as the founders were served, the instagram (@badboypizzasoc) was born.
The following years proceeded to become a whirlwind of pizza-related activities. From backyard pizza parties, to touring the pizza capitals for the world, to now setting up shops and feeding the masses in London.
Click on the pizzas below to hone-in on the details of our story…
A ‘Buy a Pint Get a Free Pizza’ deal at a Southampton bar inspired the boys to start an all inclusive society dedicated to getting deals at local pizzerias. As students, it’s rare to have the money to eat at restaurants together, so they wanted to change that. Not only did they eat a shit-tonne of pizza, but they reviewed all the pizza they could get their hands on. Their aim was to create a go-to guide of the best pizzerias down south.
50% off for all society members!
We chirpsed the local pizzerias, and as a result, they gave us some great deals. Our socials quickly became oversubscribed, with the largest seeing 45 members sat around one table. As the socials became more and more regular, we realised we had to take pizza making into our own hands (and garden) to retain the inclusivity.
‘When in Naples, do what the Napolitanos do’
We’d spent a few months building this fake society, so it was time to do what every society does best – TOUR.
We designed the merch, and spent weeks planning a trip. We booked out a lecture theatre and presented our itinerary to our fellow students. We then rented a hostel, and somehow convinced 40 members to come with us. What proceeded, was a tour of a lifetime. We guided our members through the top pizzerias of Naples, a Napoli game, Pompeii and much much more (whilst fuelled by Italian wine and beer).
Our first taste of making pizzas for public consumption, came from regular pop-ups in our uni house garden. Our set-up consisted of an Ooni pizza oven, some DJ decks, and a tonne of Galahad. As you can imagine, this led to a big old shindig fuelled by free pizza and cheap booze.
Then we started setting up at local house parties, selling cheap pizza to intoxicated mates.
Pop-ups in our favourite watering hole, the Gordon Arms, became nothing short of a spectacle. And with it, our merch was becoming pretty sought after.
Whilst selling cheap pizza to the student community of Southampton, we would also be making money for charity, and funding our £2.20 pints of Doom Bar for the night (as a student, this was great).
Our first taste of the London pizza scene was a pop-up at Belleville Brewery.
A year had past since Naples, and the stories had transformed into stuff of legend.
So, it was time to go again… another 40 people on a long weekend in Rome.
Similarly to Naples, the entire itinerary was planned by us ahead of time. Nonetheless, a proper brits-abroad trip ensued. Pizza was on the menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sightseeing played a small part, a Lazio football game was seen, and one too many carafes of budget wine were consumed.
The year was 2020, The world was in the midst of a global pandemic, but the people still needed good pizza. We felt it was our duty to get it to them.
Hen was at home in London and started a delivery business, cooking pizzas in Ooni pros and serving the locals through a fleet of mates with cars.
Josh and Charlie were still at uni writing their dissertations, and decided to earn a bit of pocket money delivering pizzas by bike; all cooked in an Ooni oven in the garden of their student house.
As lockdown was easing, Dinerama (an outdoor food hall in Shoreditch) was reopening, and they were in need of a new pizza trader. We caught wind of this and immediately set to work, creating a pitch which showed them why we’d be a great fit for their food market. After a high pressure food tasting, we were given the keys to the kitchen and allowed free-reign on re-branding.
10 weeks of trading flew by. We had a great time – but most of all, we realised that people loved out pizzas. Who would’ve thought that our little joke could be on its way to becoming a fledging young business.
Next Door Records, located next to Bush Hall (Shepherds Bush), is a new record shop/bar ran by 3 friends of ours (Alfie, Thom & Louis). As they were a similar age to us, and we felt their space had a unique buzz, we took on a residency from their huge abandoned kitchen at the back of their space.
This is where we first developed our New York style pizzas. Extra large pies, served by the slice over a 3 month residency.
A year later we returned to NDR for our collaborative residency ’12 Inch’. A 12 inch New York style concept that would tie in with the 12″ records sold in the shop.
In April 2021 we received an email from the management at VY, explaining that they had an old storage cupboard that they wanted to transform into a pizza shack for us.
Within a week, we were in. We fully decorating the shack, and installed our custom made wood fired oven. This was a landmark moment for B.B.P.S, and it really put our name on the map in central London.
We’ve remained at Vinegar Yard for over a year, serving our 12″ Neo-Neapolitan style pizzas to the masses.
Perhaps the biggest moment in B.B.P.S history, was getting a spot in Seven Dials Market. Prior to this, we had been nagging the KERB higher powers month on month for a year straight. We were hassling them constantly on social media, in the hope that one day they would give us a chance.
Finally, our voices were heard, and we were given the chance to give them a tasting. As a result, we were awarded a spot at the illustrious Seven Dials Market.
We decided to go with a NY style 22″ pizza concept and sell it by the slice.
Recently, NY pizza legend (and harsh critic), Dave Portnoy came and reviewed us.
Throughout our duration at Seven Dials so far, we have created numerous collaborations, received a number of valuable press releases and been plunged into the street food spotlight.
40 Pizzerias in 8 days.
We wanted to try the best, the worst, and the most iconic spots in NY. This allowed us to get a real feel of how New York pizza should be done. $1 slices, a tour in a school bus around Brooklyn Pizzerias, and a table at the exclusive Lucali’s (Beyonce’s favourite pizza joint), we saw (and tried) it all.
We came back with massive amounts of inspiration and knowledge in order to improve our New York Style, and make it the best in London.
Summer 2022 was the year of the BBPS festival circuit.
Reeves developed a 8 Ooni pro pizza oven rig that could reach speeds of over 200 P/hr (pizzas per hour) and Josh designed the eye catching signage that could be seen from across the fields. Blood, sweat and tears went in to building this set-up, all for a summer of pizzas at some of Londons most iconic music festivals.