Mitchell York, About.com's Entrepreneur Guide recently discovered an entrepreneur who is rolling in dough...pizza dough.
I recently attended a charity event on eastern Long Island and met Matthew Michel, the founder of Rolling in Dough Pizza Co., a mobile pizza truck with a wood-fired oven that caters parties on Long Island and in New York City. The pizza was delicious, custom made, and prepared fast. The truck was a work of art -- a restored 1943 International Harvester.
What led you to start this particular business?
During the summer of 2007, my sister decided she would have a pizza truck at her rehearsal dinner. I thought, what a bizarre idea, and then I saw the truck and fell in love. Not only was it an antique truck, with a wood-fired oven on it but it was good pizza and a huge hit with all the guests. On my drive back to Long Island I quickly realized that I would be starting my own truck on Long Island. To me it felt like the perfect demographic for this type of business and it turned out I was right.
What's been the most surprising thing about the business?
I was very surprised at how quickly people started finding out about me. After only a few weeks, I was getting calls from Westchester and New York City, not to mention the Hamptons. I totally underestimated the power of word of mouth. I knew the truck would generate free press but beyond that it's all word of mouth and people sure can talk.
What's the most challenging part of the business?
Keeping everything in working order on the truck. Everything is constantly being exposed to the elements. If the wind doesn't break the hinge on the refrigerator door, then the electrical re-charging system will attempt to fail. If everything is functioning with the back part of the truck, then most likely something will happen to the truck itself. It never ends and it can be very, very frustrating.
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Photo by Rolling in Dough Pizza Co..