A TYNEDALE-BASED pizza van topped the bill at the Slice Wars ‘The Deep Pandalorian’.

The force was with Fire & Dough as it was crowned winner of the Star Wars-themed pizza battle at Wylam Brewery.

The mobile pizza business was launched in 2018 by friends Ross Keady and John Nicholson, of Hexham.

But the idea for a wood-fired pizza van serving traditional Neapolitan-style pizzas was thought up by the former Queen Elizabeth High School pupils two years prior.

The pair’s flair for good quality ingredients, style and service has seen customers flood to its vans in its various locations across the Tyne Valley.

At the two day, free event, Fire & Dough beat 12 other hopeful vendors to be named the overall winner.

“It was a really big achievement for us to win”, said Erin Keady, who has been with the business since it started and is Ross’ sister. “We were over the moon with it.

“Wylam Brewery has different sorts of events throughout the year and each event focuses on a different type of street food.

“They get all the local street food vendors and have everyone battle it out for best overall winner, judge’s choice and a people’s choice.

“The pizza one is definitely one of the most hotly contested. It’s been cancelled for the last two years so it was really great to come back and win it on the first year back.”

Fire & Dough served customers themed Darth Meatball and R2-D2 Ragu – both of which will be available on its vans this month.

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Erin added: “We had really good feedback; we had an offering of meat, vegetarian and also vegan.

“We’re hoping that people who did visit the event, we’ll see them at local vans where they can catch us.”

Fire & Dough has a packed schedule of events in the coming months, Erin said, with pitches at the Hexham Book Festival and the Corbridge Beer Festival. Staff also worked the Northumberland County Show.

“It’s great getting out there, we love to stay local to where our customers are based”, said Erin.

“Our customers have been fantastic all throughout Covid and really stuck with us so it’s great now that we’re able to go out and venture a bit further afield and do these events.

“People were so grateful (during lockdown) we were going out and it was just that something to look forward to throughout the week.

“Fingers crossed we’ll be sticking around.”

In 2020, the Twice Brewed Inn, on Hadrian’s Wall, near Bardon Mill, launched a partnership with Fire & Dough after a series of successful pop-up events.