How I Became a Successful Pizza Entrepreneur: From Quitting My Job to Building a $10M Pizza Empire

From abandoning the conventional path to embarking on an extraordinary journey, I transformed my life from an unassuming employee to a flourishing pizza entrepreneur. In this blog post, I am thrilled to share my inspiring story of how I went from quitting my job to creating a remarkable $10M pizza empire. Join me as I delve into the challenges, triumphs, and invaluable lessons I acquired along the way. Discover the secrets behind my entrepreneurial success and gain valuable insights into the fascinating world of pizza business. Let’s embark on this captivating adventure together, unveiling the steps that led me to become a triumphant figure in the ever-flourishing pizza industry.

How I Became a Successful Pizza Entrepreneur: From Quitting My Job to Building a $10M Pizza Empire


In this article, we will delve into the inspiring journey of Thom Elliot, the co-founder of Pizza Pilgrims, a successful restaurant business that started on a whim. Thom, along with his brother, embarked on a trip to Italy to taste-test pizzas, which eventually led them to establish Pizza Pilgrims. Despite the challenges brought by the pandemic, Pizza Pilgrims is celebrating its tenth anniversary and continues to thrive. In this interview, Thom shares valuable insights on becoming an entrepreneur, overcoming setbacks, taking risks, sustainable growth, surviving the pandemic, and balancing family life.

The Origin of Pizza Pilgrims

Thom Elliot’s entrepreneurial journey began with a spontaneous trip to Italy. Curious about the authentic taste of Italian pizzas, Thom and his brother embarked on a pilgrimage to Naples, the birthplace of pizza. Little did they know that this adventure would ignite a passion within them and pave the way for a successful business.

Through their travels, they learned about the secrets behind crafting the perfect Neapolitan pizza — from the sourdough starters to the wood-fired ovens. Determined to bring this unique culinary experience to the United Kingdom, Thom and his brother returned home with an ambitious dream.

The Importance of Random Conversations

As Thom and his brother started their pizza journey, they realized the importance of engaging in random conversations. These chance encounters often led to valuable insights and connections that shaped their business. Whether it was meeting a local pizza enthusiast or striking up conversations with fellow travelers, they discovered that opportunities often arise when least expected.

The Difference Between Employment and Entrepreneurship

Thom Elliot emphasizes the stark contrast between being employed and being an entrepreneur. While a stable job provides security and routine, becoming an entrepreneur requires embracing uncertainty and taking risks. Thom believes that being an entrepreneur is about having a vision and being willing to put in the hard work to bring that vision to life.

Sustainable Growth and Surviving the Pandemic

Sustainable growth has always been a fundamental principle of Pizza Pilgrims. Thom shares that focusing on quality rather than rapid expansion has been key to their success. By nurturing strong relationships with suppliers, constantly refining their product, and creating a unique customer experience, Pizza Pilgrims has built a loyal fan base.

However, the pandemic presented unforeseen challenges for the restaurant industry. Thom reflects on the difficulties they faced during this time but also highlights the importance of adapting and finding innovative solutions. From offering delivery services to launching DIY pizza kits, Pizza Pilgrims was able to pivot and stay afloat during the pandemic.

Balancing Family Life

Being an entrepreneur often requires long hours and immense dedication. Thom Elliot acknowledges the challenges of balancing business and family life. He emphasizes the significance of surrounding yourself with a supportive network and involving loved ones in the journey. By delegating tasks and setting boundaries, Thom has been able to create a harmonious balance between his business and personal life.


Thom Elliot’s journey from a spontaneous trip to Italy to building a $10 million pizza empire with Pizza Pilgrims is a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and taking risks. Through random conversations, sustainable growth, and adapting to unforeseen circumstances, he has created a thriving business that continues to make its mark in the restaurant industry. Aspiring entrepreneurs can draw inspiration from Thom’s story and apply his insights to their own entrepreneurial endeavors.


  1. How did Thom Elliot come up with the idea for Pizza Pilgrims?
  2. How did Pizza Pilgrims survive the challenges of the pandemic?
  3. What are some tips for aspiring entrepreneurs based on Thom’s journey?
  4. How does Pizza Pilgrims prioritize sustainable growth?
  5. How does Thom Elliot balance family life with his entrepreneurial pursuits?
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