Pizzeria Caldera is jumping into the frozen pizza business. We’re taking the thin-crust, Napoletana-style pizza we’re known for, flash-freezing, par-baking, shrink-wrapping and distributing them locally and nationally.
As we prepare to launch the line nationally, we are stocking and introducing them to our local market. Orders can be phoned in for curbside pick-up or delivery as any other order. We are also offering free delivery throughout the valley on Fridays for all minimum orders of four or more pies placed by 2pm on Thursday. All pizzas on our current menu are offered frozen and wrapped, including gluten free upon request. Frozen pizza prices are about 15% off the menu price.
A new e-commerce-based website is in the works, and a national campaign will be launched once the website is up and running.
Frozen, shrink-wrapped pizzas are also much easier to distribute through local organizations that are helping feed those with the greatest need. Pizzeria Caldera plans to give away ten frozen pies for every 100 pies it sells. Our initial donations will be made through Hole Food Rescue. We plan to team up with other organizations as needs throughout the local and regional community are assessed.
Beginning March 16, 2020, when local restaurants were required to stop allowing guests in dining rooms, Pizzeria Caldera started par-baking, wrapping and freezing pies for sale. The response was encouraging. With limited restaurant availability and cooking daily at home for the foreseeable future, Pizzeria Caldera offers a way to stock up on your favorite pizza for when you simply don’t want to cook a meal.
We closed on March 27 for five weeks to keep our employees and families safe and help flatten the curve. This down-time provided the opportunity to plan for business changes and for the frozen pizza line to incubate.
In early April we learned about the Layoff Aversion Grant program offered by the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS). According to the DWS website, “The purpose of the grant is to provide funding to assist Wyoming businesses with innovative solutions to decrease the amount of time for layoffs and/or avert layoffs during the crisis by assisting businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.” We received a $5,000 grant to purchase equipment and supplies to pivot our business toward producing and selling frozen pizzas. Some of the items we’ve purchased include a new freezer, shrink-wrap machine, product labels and shipping and packaging materials. Preparing for this new business angle has allowed us to put our employees back to work making and packaging pizzas and helping to figure out production and shipping logistics.
“Selling frozen pizzas was something we looked into doing about 4 or 5 years ago but, because the timing wasn’t right, we never executed on it,” stated Pizzeria Caldera owner Chris Hansen. “Today people aren’t allowed in restaurants. They’re sheltering in place and ordering food online. E-commerce is booming. The timing now seems to be right.”
To see the article in the Jackson Hole News & Guide, check it out here.