"In my previous role I was classed as self-employed and went from one short-term contract to another, which offered little security. "
Tom Mungall started out on the tools and, with a background in mechanical engineering, eventually moved into a managerial role – but had begun to grow weary of the long hours on the road, travelling to building sites across the South East and London.
With the construction industry largely shut down following the spring lockdown, the 35-year-old decided it was the right time to take on a new challenge.
Despite the business launch coinciding with the introduction of England’s second lockdown, Tom is determined to succeed and has been encouraged by the number of early client bookings.
The father-of-one said: “In my previous role I was classed as self-employed and went from one short-term contract to another, which offered little security. In addition, I was growing tired of the early starts and long hours spent commuting.
“My timing might not be the best when it comes to launching a business during a lockdown, but I’m determined to take control of my own future while at the same time achieving a better work life balance.”
Tom, who lives in Wantage, plans to grow his customer base with an ambition to eventually operate extra vans and employ sub-contractors.
“My background in construction and engineering means I take a great deal of professional pride in my work – an attitude I’ll take into my new venture.”
Ovenu South Oxon, which covers Abingdon, Wantage and Didcot as well as all the villages in between, is accepting bookings at its discretion, with the strict stipulation that both parties observe the two-metre social distancing rule, along with guidelines on hygiene and cleanliness.
Rik Hellewell, managing director of the Ovenu franchise, said: “Given Tom’s mechanical knowledge there’s no-one better qualified to strip down and clean an oven!
“He already has experience of being self-employed and, despite these current challenging times, has the necessary skills and ability to make this business a success.”
The Ovenu valeting process involves dismantling key components of an oven such as the door, interior panels, fan, and shelves and placing them into design-registered tank equipment, which uses safe, non-caustic and biodegradable products to clean the oven parts.