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TWC Insider
March 23, 2022 | Cellar Scoop | TWC Insider

The Evolution of Pie

It all started with a dream. Gabe, our TWC Warehouse Expert/Logistics Coordinator, wanted to make pizza. GM (at the time) Dave’s dream was to sell some food and possibly make a little money. As it turns out, Italian pizza ovens are pretty expensive, but one was needed to make Gabe’s dream come true.

So, last summer, Gabe started raising his pizza oven money by making “Gabe’s Street Tacos.” Some of you may have tried his tacos, and if you did, well first, you’re lucky, and second, you can now say that you were part of Gabe achieving his dream. In November of 2021, Gabe made his first pizzas in the brand-new pizza oven at TWC.

But there were some bumps in the road. Some of his first pizzas were a little dry. Some were a little black. Some were a little sticky. But some were just right. And over time, Gabe got to know his pizza oven, and things started to click. He got to know the “heat zone” of the oven (goal: 580 to 620 degrees…HOT!), and he figured out that each dough is a little finicky. And since he bakes outside, weather conditions impact cooking temperatures and times. He got to know these things, too.

(Fun fact: Pizza dough is a little like wine. The liveliness of it changes. It can be bubbly and bright at the beginning of its life and then mellow over time.)

About the second week of Gabe’s pizzas, Mason joined in the efforts. At first, they focused on making pepperoni and margarita pizzas. But over time, they’ve played with their recipes and expanded their offerings.

Each 3rd Saturday of the month, the “Pizza Guys” fire up the oven (a brick-heating process that takes about 40 minutes for consistent heat) and prep the tomatoes and basil and fill up the cheese and sauce containers. And of course, Gabe has to prepare his proprietary spice blend (shhhh….secret ratio…he wouldn’t even tell me!). And there’s a surprising amount of pizza-box folding that has to happen.

Over time, Mason has developed his garlic-herb oil, and the pair use that to finish their crust. Together the two have developed several specialty pizzas: the “party combo” is a margarita pizza with pepperoni while the “heavy pep” has extra pepperoni that looks like shingles on a roof. Greasy but good.

Cheesy bread showed up on an Industry Night. It was a hit. For fellow TWC staff, they’ve done a pesto-prosciutto-arugula combo and an alfredo-prosciutto-arugula with a balsamic reduction drizzle on top. The latest: cheesy-filled crust. That's a staff fave.

Next up, the “Pizza Guys” are creating a supreme pizza. And Mason’s developing what they call a “tie-dye pie” that has an alfredo-pesto swirl. Sign me up.

So why write about this now? After all, we’ve been peddling pizzas for many months at this point. Well, Gabe’s dream is now turning a profit. As of last weekend, his pizza oven is paid off. So, what started as a dream is now a very yummy reality that, with around 60 pizzas selling each Saturday, is a mainstay at TWC. So come on out and grab some great pie from TWC’s very own “Pizza Guys.” You will not be disappointed. As Gabe says, “The oven isn’t a Ferrari, but it’s darn close.”


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