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.
Pergolizzi and his team make custom-built portable pizza
partnership with Forno Bravo. They make them well, they make
safe, they make them beautiful. The day we visited the farm
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!
First, we wanted to know about Joe and his business.
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
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
realized that portable pizza ovens could put others in a profitable
business in addition to making their own pizza!
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:
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.
- 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.
Lillian admires a
brand new custom-built
Hmm... a wood-fired pizza oven we could take on the road with us...
Within, Boulder, CO - http://portablebrickpizzaoven.com
Portable Pizza Ovens to our Pizza Ovens page
from Portable Pizza Ovens
to the passion-4-pizza