Mamma mia, Niles has mobile pizzaPublished 6:34pm Sunday, June 27, 2010
By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star
Who says for the taste of wood fired pizza, one needs wood?
Or a fire, for that matter?
One Niles business has started up with the hopes of bringing fresh tasting pizza to the masses.
And it’s going mobile.
Ron Fink is the creator of Talia’s, ‘Fiery Fast Pizza’ that’s cooked through a specialty oven and ready to eat in five minutes or less.
Though it may be a little hot.
“It started last fall,” Fink said, when a small prayer group of about a dozen people had met at Fink’s farm and had been discussing the unfortunate state of the economy and unemployment in the area.
“We were just looking at all the people unemployed,” he said. “And things were getting worse.”
Fink wanted to find a way to start a business that would not only help those who were now operating on an even tighter budget at home — but also open the door to the possibility of putting people to work.
“That’s exactly what the goal is,” he said.
He transformed a service truck into a mobile kitchen, stocking fresh produce, toppings and dough in the back along with a 2Stone oven. The oven, he found through research online and tracked it back to company’s owner — who just happened to live in Buchanan.
The oven cooks at 1,000 degrees, Fink said and is “really the driving force behind the business because of the productivity… it’s a paradigm shift in cooking pizza.”
Fink takes his truck on the road, recently he was on hand at the Niles Bluegrass Festival and he was able to work out an arrangement with Brew Ha-Ha to be found regularly at their parking lot.
There, he takes orders from customers and cooks the pizza right to order.
“It produces a pizza every 90 to 120 seconds,” Fink said of the oven.
To understand the difference between pizza cooked using a 2Stone oven, Fink said customers will just have to taste it for themselves.
“We make them right to order,” he said. “As they come out of the oven, they walk away with them. We can put it out right then and there and people are loving it because it actually changes the character (of the pizza).”
And he’s doing what he can to ensure every bite is fresh and flavorful.
“We use all fresh produce,” from his farm, Fink said, including 22 varieties of organic tomatoes and peppers. If there’s something he hasn’t grown, he’ll buy it fresh.
Fink works outside the truck and customers can watch as their pizza cooks right inside the oven.
“It’s really neat,” he said.
The mobility of the business makes it easy to work festivals and fairs and special events but Fink said he’s not focusing just on those venues.
Like the portable barbecue chicken business, he’s hoping to be found throughout the area making pizza on a regular basis.
A number is posted on the side of the truck and customers can call and find out where he’ll be next, he said.
Fink is just in the “prototype” stages of his business. He’s coming off of 20 years on disability, he said. A cancer survivor who said he’s been self employed all his life after finally seeing his illness subside, “I guess I got another lease on life,” he said.
“I’m just a new man, so here we are doing this crazy business,” Fink said.
Eventually, he hopes to be making pizzas seven days a week and possibly even take on more trucks, allowing others to get in on the business as owner-operators.
“I’m trying to keep the price down to make a very easy entry for people into this,” Fink said. “To help people be their own operation but at the same time, duplicate the system we’ve created.
“This is so unusual,” he said. “You’ll just have to try it sometime to see why it’s so different from traditional pizza.”
To contact Talia’s, call 684-3400 or go online at www.taliaspizza.com.