HALSTEAD is set to welcome a new branch of a popular restaurant chain to the town.

Dough & Co is a chain of pizza restaurants which is making its mark on the region as it looks to open its latest branches.

The pizza chainy only uses traditional wood-fired pizza ovens.

It first started just over two and a half years ago when owner Christopher Sharman, 28, opened up in a vintage horse box.

Mr Sharman has been in the industry for 14 years and cut his teeth in the fine dining industry, working in Michelin star restaurants alongside culinary legends such as Marco Pierre White.

The restaurant’s pizza dough is Mr Sharman’s own recipe with the aim to provide high quality pizza with quality toppings.

The young entrepreneur also has a chain of burger restaurants called Burger Amour which has branches in Colchester, Bishop Stortford and soon in Bury St Edmonds

Now he is looking to open new restaurants in Halstead and Bury St Edmunds.

It is hoped the Halstead branch will be open by mid October in the old Baldwins store, opposite Sainsbury on the High Street.

The restaurant is currently undergoing some renovation work to turn it in to an eat-in and delivery restaurant.

Mr Sharman had hoped to open the business before the pandemic but thanks to a “loyal following” the Halstead plans were only delayed rather than cancelled.

According to Mr Sharman, the decision to move into Halstead was sparked by the demand from residents.

He saw the lengths some customers in Halstead were going to to get orders from the Sudbury restaurant, and also feels Halstead is missing “strong independent eateries that provide original food for both delivery and restaurant”.

Mr Sharman said: “Dough & Co is owned by myself and started in a vintage horse box just over two and half years ago now.

“I opened the first physical location just over two years ago with a vision that we would achieve 50 restaurants as my first goal post within five years.

“We have no outside investors and I always wanted to ensure that Dough & Co was self funded and never franchised.

“My vision was to serve some of the best pizza, with real chefs cooking them in a real oven with all of the best ingredients, at the same time as providing the best prices and services we possibly can.

“The decision was made in to open in Halstead for two main reasons, firstly we are asked on a daily basis to deliver to Halstead from our Sudbury restaurant.

“Whilst we always try to accommodate where we can, it’s hard to deliver the quality we want at 7-10 miles away.

“Most pizzerias or even chain restaurants tend not to go over around four miles.

“Secondly, as a local to Halstead we always felt that it was lacking in independent restaurants so I really wanted to bring this to Halstead.”