We caught up with the lovely Dan Spinney from Yard Sale Pizza who is taking over our Instagram account this weekend. Expect a special collaboration reveal, superstar DJ’s on the decks and a whole heap of pizza!
So how did Yard Sale Pizza come about, who’s behind it?
Childhood friends Johnnie Tate and Nick Buckland had dreams of owning a pizza joint and spotted a gaping hole in the east London scene for quality pizza, delivered. This was before the wave of Neapolitan style pizzas and delivery apps we’ve got today! I went to art college with Johnnie and got involved through my marketing and events background. We have other friends and family who are also involved too that have really helped us grow into the business we are today.
Aw, sounds like a real joint effort – we love! You first set up shop in Clapton but like your neighbours, Clapton Craft, have since opened sites in Walthamstow and Finsbury Park – how did you decide on these locations and how do they differ? It will come as no surprise that finding good sites anywhere in London is a tough game, really tough. We were working on our Walthamstow site for nearly 2 years… well, Johnnie was!
Deciding on these locations is a combination of how well we know an area and the operational advantages of having our shops within a reasonable distance of each other – not that exciting an answer I know! But really we are looking for places that have a sense of neighbourhood, somewhere we feel we could add something. It also helps that we all live nearby each of our stores at the moment.
Each of the areas we are in definitely have their own characteristics and idiosyncrasies but in reality we have a fairly broad range of customers across all the shops from the young’uns, to the trendies, lots of families and some older folks – that’s the bit we love the most, a great mix and variety of people through the doors.
You’ve worked on a number of stellar collaborations – what’s been your favourite and what’s in the pipeline?
Are you really going to make me pick a favourite?! Our annual Burns night Haggis & Cavolo Nero pizza collaboration with Deeney’s holds a special place in my belly 😉
That said, we recently got to hang out with the ‘NYC pizza czar’ Anthony Falco, formerly of Roberta’s in Brooklyn which was super interesting, fun and the pizza was damn tasty. Anthony and Nick held a masterclass for a small group in the shop which was amazing… part science lesson, part hands on pizza making and Anthony demonstrated how he makes fresh Mozzarella which was a treat!
There’s a burger pizza mash up in the pipeline. See if you can spot who from my Instagram take over @Crummbs_uk this weekend!
What’s your favourite pizza on the menu and do you EVER get sick of it?
I love Anchovies, so if that’s on – it’s mine! Failing that it’s the TSB – Tenderstem broccoli, manchego, pine nuts, garlic and olive oil with Fior Di Latte mozzarella.
Yep, the TSB is our fave too! Tell us, how the hell did you get Macaulay Culkin and his band, The Pizza Underground to play at the Clapton launch?
Good timing really! They were coming over to play a few shows and I got in touch to get them over for pizza and a shop performance between sound check and it was their first night in the UK so we managed to wangle the debut in the process. A slightly bizarre yet brilliantly wonderful launch that we still hear people whispering about in the shop every so often… “I’m sure I heard Macaulay Culkin played a plastic trombone kazoo with a pizza band in this place!”. In fact you can watch it here…
This series of takeovers is all about shining a light on local businesses that we LOVE! Is there anyone you’d like to shout about?
I’m a little behind checking out new spots but recently managed to make it along to Bad Sports on Hackney Rd which was a great evening in all aspects for me – great staff, killer taco’s, strong cocktails and good music. We took Anthony Falco to Black Axe Mangal who have a really interesting menu. Monty’s Deli in Hoxton is my go-to midweek treat.
I also live around the corner from Mora in Leytonstone who does fresh pasta dishes my son goes wild for and fantastic regional Italian dishes paired with wine – well worth a visit.
Ooo, thanks for the tips, we’ll check Mora out! Aside from Yard Sale, what’s your favourite restaurant in London?
I spend a fair amount of time in Dishoom, mainly due to those bacon naan’s but also it’s the consistency of service and vibe I like in there.
I eat a lot of those Beef Bulgogi Bibimbab bowls from On The Bab as it’s near work and is great Korean comfort food.
…and for afters, got a favourite boozer?
The Chesham Arms is our go to boozer, a proper pub, friendly staff, nice garden and you can get this great pizza delivered to your table!
We’ve had many a Yard Sale delivered to the Chesham, that used to be our local too! Finally, let us into the secret of your dream day in London?
I love spending time at the Barbican, a good exhibition or just hanging out there as I find the architecture super calming. Other than that it would involve lots of eating, hanging out with my family in Wanstead Park or Epping Forest and beers with friends in a good pub in a corner of London I might not have visited before. Not so much ‘secret’ but a simple man with simple pleasures you could say!
Sounds like a fab day to us Dan. Thanks for the chat and we can’t wait to see what you get up to this weekend!