Sometime around his 30th birthday, as Glasgow had almost reached the end of a covid lockdown, Denis Fisher found himself without a job.

Having ‘bounced around’ in sales for most of his life, he had long before then begun to wonder if the 9 to 5 grind was truly for him, but such a sudden change in circumstance now begged a daunting question.

What next?

Little did he know that just a short time later he would be enjoying a weekend of sell-out success as the latest addition to the Barras Market food scene with his own business, The Pizza Cult.

Glasgow Times: Pictured: Denis FisherPictured: Denis Fisher (Image: supplied)

Looking back to where it all began Denis said: “I never really enjoyed working in sales and always knew it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life.

“30 obviously isn’t that old, but I had friends around me who were getting on really well while doing what they loved.

“I just felt a bit lost.

“I was talking to a friend of mine not long after I lost my job, and he jokingly asked me why I didn’t just become a pizza chef.

“I laughed it off at first, but the more the thought sat with me the more I asked myself, ‘Why not?’”

Granted, the transition from sales to slices was not the most obvious career path, but his friends’ suggestion was not without reason.

Like so many others over the course of the pandemic, Denis had taken to the kitchen in search of a way to pass the time indoors and discovered a talent, but more importantly, a passion for all things pizza.

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Knowing that he had learned quickly and perfected his sourdough recipes with relative ease, he had nothing to lose by taking the chance to pursue his hobby professionally.

The real challenge, however, would be to find an employer who would take him on with no prior experience in a working kitchen.

He continued: “After reaching out to a few places across Glasgow I managed to get an interview at Strip Joint in Finnieston and had a chat with the manager who seemed to believe in the dream.

“For the first month, I was washing dishes and was barely even allowed to touch the dough.

“But I really just threw myself in there and things started to move very fast.

“Six months later, I was running their pizza section.”

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Having had his first taste of the hospitality industry, Denis then made an ambitious leap to the role of head chef at Franco Manca on Mitchell Street, a branch of one of the most popular restaurant chains in the UK which specialises in Neapolitan style pizza.

By his own admission, the work was infinitely more rewarding than “making 200 phone calls a day and annoying people for a living” and ultimately served as further inspiration to go it alone with his own business.

After a whirlwind year, a visit to the vibrant Barras Market in the city’s East End proved to be the final piece of the puzzle for the amateur chef turned pro.

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He said: “The sense of community down there is just amazing.

“I had looked at a few other places in Glasgow when I decided to open my own business, but it was only when I went to the Barras that it felt like the right fit.

“All the traders are small start-ups and everyone is always beaming with smiles, having the best time every weekend.

“It was pretty scary leading up to my first day because dough is quite a temperamental beast, but when I told the others my concerns, they all offered to help in any way they could.

“I don’t think there was one trader on that day who didn’t come up to me to say hello and wish me well.

"It was amazing. Almost overwhelming.”

Over the course of last weekend, Denis introduced hundreds of hungry market goers and fellow traders to his freshly made sourdough pizzas loaded with toppings that range from Italian Sausage with caramelised shallots and glistening spiced honey to a veggie-friendly number with halloumi, potato and pistachio pesto on a rich San Marzano tomato base.

Glasgow Times: Pictured: Denis celebrates sell-out successPictured: Denis celebrates sell-out success (Image: supplied)

And, for the now 31-year-old, there’s no chance of looking back any time soon.

He said: “Leaving sales and starting The Pizza Cult is the best decision I’ve ever made in life.

“Even if this doesn’t work out in the long run, I’ve had so much fun with everything from managing the social media to meeting new people.

“It certainly beats being stuck at a computer for eight hours a day.”

The Pizza Cult is open from 10am to 4pm at the Barras Market on Saturday and Sunday. For more information find them on social media here.