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Take a wood oven, put it on wheels and you’ve got a pop-up pizzeria that’s changing the way the game is played.
First came delivery. Then there was take-and-bake. Now, behold the pie’s latest evolution: Pizza Supreme Being. Ben Roberts, 28, started the mobile wood-oven operation last spring, firing handmade personal pies wherever the road takes him. A former cook at Selland’s Market-Cafe and Ella, he brings his pop-up pizzeria to events such as the Tower Bridge dinner and the Friday farmers market on Power Inn Road. We recently caught up with him outside Bottle & Barlow, the downtown barbershop/bar, where he makes pizza every other Saturday night.
WHAT IS PIZZA SUPREME BEING?
It’s a pop-up pizza company that eventually will grow into a brick-and-mortar once I find the right space. I had the oven made by a guy up in Auburn and picked out the tile and white stucco myself. I make and hand-mix my own dough, which doesn’t touch a mixer, and let it proof overnight.
WHY WOOD, NOT GAS?
Selland’s had a wood-fire pizza, and it was like mind blown. I’d eaten wood-fire pizza, but I’d never actually cooked it before then. I fell in love with it. The flavor is different, and everything cooks way different. Pizzas in here cook in a minute and a half, and your dough still has life.
WHAT KIND OF PIES DO YOU SERVE?
I serve pepperoni and Margherita, and tonight a Hawaiian pie, a Bottle & Barlow exclusive that uses Spam, fresh pineapple and thinly shaved jalapeno on top. They’re all made right here, and we say it takes five minutes to be safe, but it’s probably less time than that. I prepped about 80 pizzas tonight, and I start at 9 until I run out.
HOW’D YOU COME UP WITH THE NAME PIZZA SUPREME BEING?
A series of names and social media handles led to it. My brother and I started a joke crew called the Pizza Good Crew, but Pizza Good was taken across the social media board, so I was like, take out an ‘o.’ OK, Pizza God. Also taken. Then I thought, well what’s a god? A supreme being. Plus then there’s pizza supreme, so we put it together: Pizza Supreme Being.