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Portable Pizza Ovens -
Joseph Pergolizzi and
The Fire Within

An ambitious young man from New York with a passion for pizza and a head for business moves to the West and does something extraordinary in the world of pizza.

No, not Chris Bianco.

Joseph Pergolizzi and his team make custom-built portable pizza ovens, in partnership with Forno Bravo.  They make them well, they make them safe, they make them beautiful.  The day we visited the farm in Boulder, Colorado where all this wood-fired wonder happens, we were greatly impressed - and we started thinking about maybe someday getting one of the ovens!

three portable ovens from The Fire Within

First, we wanted to know about Joe and his business.

Joseph Pergolizzi comes from Staten Island. In fact, the day we met him he was wearing a Denino's t-shirt - something you probably don't often see in Boulder, Colorado. He's quite proud of his New York pizza heritage ("my mother's water broke just after my parents left Spumoni Gardens!") and equally proud of his commitment to his business and the quality of his product.

He started out making ovens with cob and firebrick on an educational farm in upstate NY, where (after the head farmer went home) they'd make pizza dough and make pizzas for friends and families.  Later, he worked in a wood-fired bakery.  

He told us that originally he thought about going into the business of building outdoor pizza ovens for backyards, but then the lightbulb went on over his head and he realized that portable pizza ovens could put others in a profitable business in addition to making their own pizza!

Joseph Pergolizzi and an unopened oven kit from Forno Bravo

It seems to us that creating partnerships is something Joe does naturally. The Fire Within comprises partnerships with James Bairey of Forno Bravo (the ovens), Carl Maxey and Maxey Manufacturing (the trailers), and others.

Joseph also builds partnerships with his customers. We know that he supports his sales with personal help, workshops on pizza-making and business-building (his next few Getting Started workshops are February 23-24,  April 6-7, and June 1-2, 2013 - click here for more info), and a workbook, "Rolling In The Dough", that covers every aspect of running a portable pizza business, from making a fire to applying for a food vendor's license to how to set up - and of course, how to make a pizza in a wood-fired oven (look for a review of the book soon here on passion-4-pizza.com)!

In a nutshell, here's what really impresses us about Joe and The Fire Within:
  • Joseph Pergolizzi loves pizza.
  • He showed us every step of what he does.
  • He answered every question we had.
  • The Fire Within produces beautiful, workable, safe portable pizza ovens, unique in the industry.
  • Joe is a genuinely nice man who is dedicated to his work and his customers.
  • Even his partners seem to like him.
  • And he loves pizza.
We were also enchanted by the vibe.  We talked a bit with Joseph about what's behind pizza - feeding people and being part of a cycle that starts with a grain and sustains a community and has no end.  Not the kind of pizza discussion you'd hear at a pizzeria on Long Island, but here it was all right.

Lillian admires a brand new ovenLillian admires a brand new custom-built oven

Hmm... a wood-fired pizza oven we could take on the road with us...

The Fire Within, Boulder, CO - http://portablebrickpizzaoven.com



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