JAY Vidler is one of a growing band of young Wagga entrepreneurs forging their own path to success. At just 23, Mr Vidler is already running his first business, a mobile pizza shop called Wagga’s Woodfired Wagon. The young chef and his partner Jen Yacoub are regular faces at a host of local festivals and events. Their core philosophy of sourcing solely local, quality products has endeared them to farmers and festival-goers alike. Mr Vidler spoke to The Daily Advertiser about food, the future, and what it’s like to be the CEO of his own destiny.
What’s the first job you ever had?
I started my chef apprenticeship as a 17-year-old at a cafe in the main street. It taught me a lot about food. It showed me that if you have good quality products and don’t interfere too much with them, you can create something very special.
What gave you the idea for the business?
I noticed a gap in the market for high quality street food. We also wanted to offer a high quality catering option to people. The people doing it here at the time were just reheating food. We wanted something that was cooked on-site and came fresh out of the oven.
What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve been given?
It’s not advice as such, but more a philosophy we work by. It’s easy to create great food if you work with fresh local ingredients. That’s at the heart of everything we do and has been really successful.
What are the main challenges facing your business?
Being a business that works solely with local ingredients, we are dealing with a lot of local, small-scale suppliers. Sometimes it can be a challenge to track down those ingredients. We also have to work to the seasons and buy only what’s in season. The other challenge is educating people that there is high quality, top end street food out there.
How do you balance your work and home life?
I’m a musician with the Riverina Concert Band, which gives me a good outlet. I also work with family members in the business so that helps me spend time with them.
Where do you hope your business will be in 20 years?
I’d like to see my trailers take Riverina produce around the country, go to bigger shows and possibly even expand what we offer.