When Kim Norris’ husband Kenny retired from East Bay Municipal Utility District in August 2018, he wasn’t quite ready to quit working.
So he and his wife sat down with their grown children Sydni and Michael, and Michael’s wife Samatha, and brainstormed ideas of a common pursuit that would allow them to spend time together while also interacting with the local community.
Kim had previously owned Lamppost Pizza, a storefront restaurant in Galt for 20 years. With that experience in mind, the group came up with the idea for Fired Up Pizza, a new take on her former business. But instead of setting up a storefront, they wanted a mobile pizza-making business that could bring the tasty food directly to hungry customers.
The final result is a tow-behind army trailer converted into a wood-burning pizza oven, complete with work areas.
They tow their kitchen to their customers and can set up at any event. So far they have served pizza to guests at a rehearsal dinner, a first and 70th birthday party, and local winery events. More recently, they could be seen serving pizza to wine-tasting guests at Macchia Winery in Acampo, where they were able to set up in a sheltered area outside, which protected them from the rain that was falling that day.
The dough had come already prepared, and it was the result of a three-day process: First they mix it and let it rise for 24 hours, then it’s time to cut it into the right serving sizes. After rising the dough for another 24 hours, it is ready to be made into pizza on the third day.
They take the orders, prepare them on the spot, and it takes three to four minutes for Kenny to cook them up in the wood-burning oven. The cooking process requires constant monitoring and moving of the pizza, and the end product is a thinner-crust, artisanal-style pizza.
The family came up with their own special spice mix, which along with plum tomatoes and fresh basil makes up their base sauce. One of their more popular pizzas is a Margherita pizza, which comes with their sauce, a balsamic drizzle, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil.
Their own special pizza is the Fired Up combo which comes loaded with veggies, pepperoni, ham, sausage, bacon, and pepperoncinis on top.
They also offer a vegetarian pizza, an all-meat, the basic pepperoni and have plans to develop other specialty pizzas, like a chicken with white garlic sauce, and a pesto pizza with artichoke, mushrooms and tomatoes.
Norris really enjoys working in the new family business.
“You can pick and choose when you want to work — and you get to meet people, you get to be outside, listen to music, and you’re meeting different people you wouldn’t meet if you had a storefront,” she said.
Fired Up Pizza in Lodi can be found on Facebook and Instagram at /lodifireduppizza or can be called at 209-598-3610 or send email to miapizza1@ comcast.net.