Joe Pergolizzi is a pizzaiolo, who founded “The Fire Within”. The company, located in Boulder, Colorado, creates Mobile Pizza Ovens, and offers a total support system for those interested in succeeeding in the the pizza business. For Joseph this is a sacred mission. The Fire Within also offers classes, workshops, encouragement and assistance. This is an entire organization dedicated to pizza success through artisan pizza creation.
On their website, Joseph explains:
“We took the age old concept of a wood fired oven on a trailer and modernized it for today’s use. In addition to manufacturing a practical line-up of mobile pizza ovens and we created the tools you need to be set up for success.
After a fiery debate, our 100+ customers across North America agreed upon a collective mission. It is the intention of the Fire Within mobile pizza caterers to save the world from common, cardboard-box-pizza one wood-fired pizza at a time. Taste testers welcome.”
For the record: Pizza Therapy, and Legends of Pizza, whole heratedly supports the mission of The Fire Within.
I was lucky enough to snag an interview with Joseph. I totally raked him over the coals and asked him the tough questions!
He was always gracious and very forthcoming.
Albert: It seems to me that your company has lots of different hats…
Please tell me what exactly is “Fire Within”?
Joseph: Simply, Fire Within offers a turnkey mobile wood fired oven business. In addition to manufacturing almost a dozen custom mobile wood fired oven designs we offer entrepreneurs the necessary tools to succeed and welcome them into a community where they can thrive. For those that need a business plan we’ve written a comprehensive 200 page business manual called Rolling In The Dough that has over 6 years of professional advice on running your own business. For those that would like hands on training and a business intensive our hands on Getting Started workshops are designed for the first timer as well as the accomplished chef. We started our own mobile pizza oven business over 6 years ago which we still do some select catering events and concerts here in Boulder.
Albert: Do you remember your first pizza? How did you get interested in making pizza?
Joseph: I actually do remember my first pizza. My parents have this photo of me in my high chair eating a slice of pizza from Denino’s with a bottle of beer on my table.
As a young kid I remember looking over the counter at pizzaeria’s and I would stare at the guys making pizza. I was so curious about the dough I couldn’t quite figure out what the texture was of dough – was it wet? soft? fragile?….
Albert: Where are you from Joseph? Where did you grow up?
Joseph: I was born in Brooklyn hours after my parents had pizza at Spumoni Gardens. (True story) They raised us in Staten Island.
Albert: Can you share some early memories of pizza?
Joseph: There are so many. One was a constant occurrence as a teenager. I would scrounged up change from everywhere across the house to get a slice of pizza at the pizzeria in front of the bus stop. Another funny one was eating an entire pie with my best friend on the curb in front of Gino’s pizzeria on Staten Island. We somehow thought it was going to be an impossible task to eat an entire 18’’ pie. After we both had 4 slices we both thought we would be stuffed. We weren’t. We ordered 2 more slices, each.
Read the Rest of The Interview HERE