hi everyone, let me just say I apologize for not hittin the keys for the last 10+ months. I can’t believe my last blog post was september of 2014. Certainly a lot has happened in those 10 months, and I can’t even begin to sum it all up in this post, but here goes. The house is quiet, I’m all alone, and I find that I have time to fill you all in on the last year (almost).
Let’s start with the Doughjo. After being open in a fixed location for the last 19 months, I’ve learned a lot, and we’ve survived our first year + as a brick and mortar, and catering company. Things are finally coming together at Fist of Flour HQ. Everyone asks, “how’s business?” and I often reply, “it’s business,” and leave it at that, with a look on my face that would say otherwise. This is a tough business to be in. There’s so many unknown variables that come into play every day, you never know what to expect, except the unexpected. The Doughjo’s been plagued with oven problems since the first week we opened. That saga continues today.
We recently spent 6 weeks of back and forth, and purchased a set of Baker’s Pride Y-600’s to replace the previous set of used Baker’s pride 152’s we had bought back in February of 2014 for $8K. The bottom deck stopped working about three months ago, so we’ve been limping along on our weekend service ever since. I did not blog about the lack of ovens for obvious reasons. You can fit a lot of pizza in one 56″ deck, but it takes effort and time to recover floor heat.
Apparently the used decks we bought last year were not up to the task, and have mercury pilots. Turns out replacement parts are illegal in California. I had my oven guy (who chooses to be anonymous for this blog) attempt to fix the dead deck for $500 with some “parts” in his van that he salvaged from another era. “It’ll work a week, or it will work for a year,” were his words. I believed him and rolled the dice. It lasted maybe 10 days. I called a dealer soon after the oven died to do some looking for us, and the price tag on new/refurbished decks was $12K. I said ok, lets do this. We got financing, and the project began. All new stainless fronts, all new parts inside, professionally rebuilt, badass pizza machines, the biggest we can fit under our hood.
UPS freight drops one oven en route from Virginia, and it’s destroyed in shipment. I think they dropped both, but one was serviceable upon delivery. nothing a rubber mallet and a mini forklift can’t fix. We installed the good new oven, swapped out the dead one, and repositioned the old oven on top. Two ovens once again. It only took four guys, a forklift, two genie lifts, and five hours to do the swap. Now we’re just waiting on the insurance claim, and we’ll get another oven! And they’ll be matching, which is exciting.
The catering business continues to grow, and we keep overcoming hurdles as we navigate the field. The shop is nice, a fixed location, where very little changes, but out in the field, every event is a different battle. Without the proper intel, every mission is up in the air. We’ve wedged our vans and trailers through the smallest of openings to the biggest of fields and to this date, have not encountered a scene we couldn’t handle.
It’s late summer, and festival/event season is in full swing. We’ll be out and about at a lot of great events, and we hope to see you out there, stay tuned for website updates, I promise.