The 2011 Recap – our first year in Business is almost over!

Hello friends, I can’t believe its almost 2012. Some are saying it is the end of days, the end of life as we know it, and nobody really “Knows” what’s going to happen. One thing is for sure, it is the End of my 30’s! In just 15 days I will be finishing one helluva decade, and adding another notch in the belt of my life, which according to my doctor may not be necessary. In completing my 39th year, I’ve lost 8 pounds, two graphics clients, several friends, and took a single idea from scratch, and parlayed it into a new career. I thought I’d just put an oven on a trailer and go out and make pizza, lots of pizza. Simple as that. Where and when really hadn’t been established yet. Business plan? Pishshh, I don’t know how to write one of those. Skip it and go straight to the crash course, work it out along the way.

I was on my own, I have no partners, no angry investors to report to, so there was no pressure, and no real bar of success to meet. The first months of 2011 were slow, but I could see things were happening. The mailing list grew, the catering gigs became a little more frequent and we started selling more pizza. By April, with business license in hand and all the “ducks in a row” we were ready for the street fair circuit, and we kicked off April fools at the Art murmur and blasted 77 pizzas out that night, in about 4 hours, with a virgin crew and no flight plan. It was awesome, and a bar was established, and so was our name.

Two articles in local publications followed that summer, OaklandNorth.net cracked the story on us after that night at the art murmur, and the second article in Edible East Bay got a lot more people talking. Summer was insanely busy. More exposure, more pizzas, more stickers were flying out of the Take-one box. I finally had enough new capital to get the van painted. I was diggin the yellow school bus, but I always saw it as the black white and red “Cool” bus. The lettering completed the package and sealed the deal.

its kinda weird how many people Stick their fists up at me while I’m driving nowadays around town. Usually it’s followed with cheers and hoots and a pumping of the fist in the air. Sometimes they know who we are, other times I think they just dig the logo. I’ve seen fists sticking out of sunroofs in traffic, I’ve heard honks and looked down to see someone Giving me the Finger, well their thumbs actually, thumbs up! Kinda stuff happens all the time. I gotta say folks it does make a man feel good to get the fist once and a while…

I like what I do, still, after a good year and a half of doing this. If I think about it, I gather we’ve produced well over 5000 pizzas since our debut way back in July 2010 at the Institute of Mosaic Art. 5000, and counting, out of one little oven on a trailer. The oven is 43″ across the middle and about 56″ deep. We can cook three 13-14″ pies at a time now, in various stages of done-ness. Not to shabby for a wild hair up my ass start up idea like this. Sure, I had seen it in action with Pizza Politana, this was not a new idea. Nor is it a common one. I figured it would just work if it was done right.

Today the term “food truck” can mean just about anything, from a Push cart selling Spiced papaya slices and chicharones, to traveling kitchen trailers, monster food trucks serving up everything under the sun. Street food as Americans know it is finally something that people talk about, seek out, and more often that not, after long lines and relatively competitive prices, Tend to enjoy over the traditional “fast food” establishments that are so ubiquitous with the modern suburban landscape they do not need mention here. Alternative food sources are popping up all over and i am excited to be a part of the future of street food here in Oakland and the east bay area. Lookin forward to making 7500 pizzas is 2012. That is our new year’s resolution, to A) keep accurate counts for once, B) make and serve 7500 pizzas (ripped ones don’t count), and C) to make great pizza everywhere we go! Hope to see you all somewhere soon!

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