“It first began with me delivering lasagne to friends for free – to make them happy,” Joel Kellock says with a laugh. He had leftovers following a dinner party, and so decided to share the love around. “I enjoyed it so much that I decided that I would just do it again the next day.” So he set up a Facebook page, headed out to buy a bunch of supplies, and “by the time I finished my shopping it was sold out.”
For five years, 1800 Lasagne was a passion project and a side hustle for Kellock, whose main work was organising music festivals. In a normal year he works on events non-stop. But, like for most of us, Covid drastically reshaped his 2020. He had just started work on Download Festival when lockdowns started.
“It was in that moment, on that day, that my whole year of back-to-back festival organisational work fell apart,” he recalls. But there was a silver lining. 1800 Lasagne had always been running in the background, “I had lasagne in my mind as something that I had wanted to jump into full time, but I was a little bit scared to take the leap. So when Covid hit, I was pushed off that cliff that I was too scared to jump off.”
At that point Kellock had been running the business mostly through Instagram, taking customer orders via direct messages, and while it had a dedicated cult following, it was not quite enough to sustain a full-time operation. “I had $3000 dollars to my name and I was like, what is the one, singular thing that I have to do to actually make this thing work? And I was like, right, start a website.”
Things took off quickly. “I went straight to Squarespace and had my website up and running within a couple of days – by that week, I was turning over hundreds and hundreds of units of lasagne instantly,” says Kellock, with an air of disbelief. “I literally just pressed the button, and made it live and lasagne sales just started flowing from that moment.”
The business’s website reflects both the look and personality that Kellock had built up across Facebook and Instagram over the past five years – there’s the trademark ALL CAPS that encapsulates Kellock’s own energy and enthusiasm, the bright, tomatoey reds, and at the centre of it all the logo developed in conjunction with Kellock’s good friend Paul McNeil, one of the original core artists for Mambo who has collaborated with an almost unbelievable list of musicians, from the Beastie Boys to the Rolling Stones. “It just all stems from the artwork,” Kellock says on deciding the look of the site.
Despite the name, 1800 Lasagne isn’t just about delivering lasagne now – there is also merchandise, drinks you can add to your order, and right now a collaboration with cocktail bar Romeo Lane. It’s a lot of moving parts, something Kellock was very conscious of when setting up the site. He says that since he isn’t particularly tech-savvy, “I was looking for a template that would make it easy for me to use and for me to manage the upkeep of, and any sort of changes and alterations.” So, with the way things are set up, if there is a new collaboration, or an update to the suburbs being delivered to that week, it’s a simple thing to change.
There’s also one more thing that has been recently added to the site – a bookings page for the physical restaurant that Kellock just opened. The side hustle is now, very much, a full-time venture. “Now I'll focus on improving this place, improving the customer experience, and creating a place that I can nurture,” says Kellock. “It's a huge responsibility. But it's an even bigger opportunity to build a little world … one where people can come in and have a beautiful time.”
Whatever your idea is, launch it with a Squarespace website. Head to Squarespace.com today for a free trial and use offer code BROADSHEET for 10% off your first website.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Squarespace.