So what’s the theory behind Za Pi? We want Za Pi to be interactive for the people and have thought of three creative (at least we think so) methods to allow for everyone to be part of Za Pi.
1. Kickstarter: The definition of community approval. We’ve launched the Za Pi kickstarter to help mobilize the oven, provide a nice discount on pizzas in advance, and to hear from the community whether they would be interested in such a project taking off at farmers markets. WIth 21 days to go, we’re 18% funded with 32 backers. While it’s a slow start, I’m a firm believer that it takes continued push and presence in order to build awareness for the project which will hopefully get us funded. Unfortunately, if we don’t get funded, we won’t be able to mobilize, which would stink after all the work of setting up the LLC and stressing out over Amazon payments, not to mention the time our friend spent making the Kickstarter video for us. I remain optimistic. 😉
2. Customer voting: Since we’ll be a mobile operation, we have to limit the toppings we can offer each week at the market. Because of this, we want customers to be able to vote on the next set of toppings or “specialty” pizzas to appear! So while we firmly believe that we should always offer the standard traditional pies (marinara, bianca, margherita), we’ll want customers to help tell us what THEY want next week to appear at the market. Whether it’s straight up pepperoni, sausage and mushroom, or something more non-traditional like like mango pulled pork pie or Filipino breakfast pie, we leave it in the customers’ hands to vote for what’s next.
3. BYOI: While we’re still working with the local health department about this one, the goal is for customers to be able to bring us veggies from the farmers market that they purchased same day, and we’ll use them to help top their pizzas at no additional charge! You’d pay for using our dough, sauces, and any additional ingredients, but this allows customers to really customize their pie with inventive creations! Inspired by a trip to the Philippines where we went to an open market called D’Talipapa, my wife and I had one of our best experiences and meals ever…
The center of the market was all the fresh ingredients you were able to negotiate for… fresh caught seafood, fresh slaughtered animals, various veggies, etc. And surrounding the market were a slew of restaurants where the whole purpose was for you to bring your ingredients to them, and either ask for a suggestion on how to prepare them, or instruct how you would like those ingredients prepared into a dish. While it’s not quite farm to table, it’s pretty much as close as you’ll get on that kind of scale. We want Za Pi at the farmers market to reflect the same spirit of turning fresh food into a meal on the spot! There’s nothing better than the brightness of fresh ingredients… and while we wanted to some how prep fresh meat as well (chicken/pork, etc), the amount of gear and elements we would need to prepare all that ended up being too complicated… so we decided to stick with fresh veggies!
The dream is for Za Pi at the farmers market to be interactive and have customers really help guide the direction of the pizzas. You’re the designer, we’re just the pizzaolos that will make your design a tasty reality.
But just in case some of you feel like you lack the creativity or need inspiration, we continue to work at different pies to see how we can refine our final pies, and provide some new ideas for you to play with ultimately. Here’s the three I had talked about last time:
While the kimchi bacon pie was tasty (it has bacon! Who doesn’t love bacon!) I couldn’t figure out what kind of sauce to put on, and just used an olive oil base. Neither the kimchi nor bacon offered enough wetness to create a great pie, and next time, I”ll have to ponder more on a base sauce for this… perhaps GochuJang? (Traditional Korean spicy pepper paste)? Or some diluted version?
The Peking Duck pie, while true to form in terms of taste, was a LOT of work… beheading the duck’s head and claws, separating the skin, saucing it, air drying for a day, roasting it, breaking it down, etc. and for very little meat unfortunately. This one may never make it to market just solely based on how time and cost intensive it was to prepare a few pieces of meat for the pie. As tasty as it was, I’m guessing this one may be out.
And a Filipino breakfast pie, featuring a blended tomato/vinegar sauce with onions, garlic, sliced longaniza, an egg on top, along with fresh diced tomatoes – every aspect of a Filipino breakfast! The sauce was dead on, according to the Filipinos in the room (including EyeDoc), and the leaky egg came out just right! It’s a pretty sweet pie, so perhaps a touch of salt to finish next time… but boy was this good.
In any case, I’m off to work, and then to continue planning for all that we have to get in place for Za Pi to take off… the list of permits/licenses/requirements are astounding for such a simple business. Who knew serving the food you love to people would require so many steps? Next time, I’ll talk more about what this really all entails!