Tom Rice never liked working for other people. When he left the U.K. for Nova Scotia with his wife Christina in 2005, he started plotting his escape.
First, he bought an indoor golf facility with a Business Development Bank of Canada loan. “I lost about 100 grand, so I went back to work for three years,” he says.
Once he’d settled his debts, he started plotting again. This time his thoughts turned to his brother Mike, who worked as a cook perfecting wood-fired pizza in Europe. “There was an opportunity here and I was sick of my corporate job and pitched him that we should start it up,” Tom says.
It took a year to line up all the permits and visas that let Mike move to Canada to start the business. Mike got his visa in January 2016 and in May they opened the Rustic Crust: Wood-fired Italian Pizza.
Tom and Mike Rice funded the food truck themselves, putting in about $50,000.
“It’s not a cheap venture to get into a food truck, but it’s more about a lifestyle choice too,” Tom says. “Getting out of the rat race.”
They had a bumper first year, regularly selling out and working 11 hours a day, seven days a week. Now they’re even offering free healthy cooking classes to children and park the truck at St. Nicholas Church in Upper Tantallon.
The work day is long, but it beats working for someone else.
“We love it,” Tom says. “It’s been more successful than we could have hoped for.”
Follow them on Facebook or on Twitter @therustic-crust.