Alfie Jameson from Petersfield set up Earth to Oven during the Covid-19 lockdown last year, and bought a trailer to pitch up in Southsea for his first day of trading.
But as he went along the A3, the trailer snaked and broke free, causing untold damage and forcing the 30-year-old chef to start from scratch.
Now, kind donations from friends and strangers alike are helping him to get back on his feet.
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He said: ‘We were on the way down to Clarence Esplanade when it happened – as we came over a hill along the A3 the trailer started shaking quite drastically.
‘Before we knew what happened, we had crashed into the central reservation. The car’s four-wheel-drive kept us safe but the trailer was really badly damaged.
‘Thankfully none of us were injured and there were no third parties involved, but it was heartbreaking to see that the trailer was basically written off.’
The incident happened on what would have been Alfie’s first day on the job, on March 31, which he said was his ‘worst nightmare’ made a reality.
Despite the damage to the trailer, it worked out cheaper to repair it than to purchase a new one.
In the meantime, Alfie – who’s been a chef for almost a decade – has been running the business from a gazebo instead.
He said: ‘It’s not quite a trailer, and we do have to compete against the weather at times, but it has been great to get cooking down in Southsea.
‘Everyone in the community has been so welcoming and supportive, which has been incredibly heartwarming for me, especially in tough times like these.’
Earth to Oven serves stuffed flatbreads, sides and desserts.
The fundraising page to repair the trailer and get it back out on the road has already raised £3,400.
Alfie is hoping to raise a total of £15,000 – and is thankful for the support he has already received.
He said: ‘I could never have imagined that people would be so supportive of a new business.
‘I am so grateful to everyone who has already helped us to get back on our feet.’