Military man Martin sails into new role as Oven Wizard

Torbay Weekly

We hear regularly of individuals making brave business decisions during the pandemic.

Martin Simpson has gone from Royal Navy commander and naval trainer in the Middle East to an Oven Wizard in Torbay and South East Devon.

He tells us that to be successful in anything, the approach has to be the same.

Martin took on the South East Devon franchise of Oven Wizards on March 1 and since then has only been able to have two Saturdays off.

A regular advertiser in the Torbay Weekly, he has quickly gained a reputation for the quality of his work and has been delighted with the reaction of his customers, many of whom have decided to engage him on a six-monthly basis on a maintenance/refresh basis which certainly helps his forward order book.

Martin, originally from Liverpool and a supporter of the Reds, has had a rich and varied career.

He joined the Royal Navy in 1983 and had his first experience of the South West at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth and had a fulfilling 26-year career culminating in becoming captain of HMS Northumberland, where he commanded a vessel with 220 crew.

Between 2007 and 2009, he had as a passenger Ross Kemp, who was on board as part of his series tracking Somali pirates who terrorised the oceans off the African coast at that time.

Martin said: "Ross was a brilliant guy and made everyone on board feel special.

"He spent seven days with us and while we had no direct encounters with pirates while he was with us, we were always conscious of that threat."

Interestingly, Martin has a more informed view of the events of the time. He says  the Somali pirates evolved from fishermen being forced out of business, who initially resorted to petty economic crime out of desperation but sadly grew into something much more serious.

On leaving the Royal Navy, Martin moved to the Middle East as a military advisor and naval training commander, ultimately spending 11 years in Abu Dhabi training the officers, men and ships of the Emirati Navy.

As much as he loved his naval career Martin has always wanted to run his own business and build his own brand and returned to the UK in January this year and didn't waste any time in setting up the local Oven Wizards enterprise.

He was determined to bring the skills he has learned over the years to his new business - punctuality, attention to detail, professionalism and a desire to leave a job immaculately done.

He loves being back in the region, having started his career down here and now enjoys coming home every night to his wife and family in the house he now owns in Devon.

He describes his new career path as 'fun' and very satisfying and he intends to have two vans on the road covering a broad geography in the near future.

He is delighted he used the 'leg up' of a franchise model to get him started and in only three months he already feels settled and well established.

He would also like to thank Mark Abbott and John Graham at Oven Wizards for their initial and ongoing support.

As ex-armed forces, Martin remains committed to those in public service and offers special rates to Blue Light Card holders - giving a little back to those who serve their country and community.

To find out more about Martin's business, log on to