Americans have an interesting relationship with pizza—our connection serving as a catalyst for communal bonding and friendship. Hell, pizza even has it’s own style of party. Pizza is a reason in itself to hang out —a microcosm of cheesehounds existing and munching together in gluttonous congruence.
“Pizza is a social experience,” said Nick Gore, founder of GoreMade Pizza, a Columbus-based, stone oven-style pizza catering service. “It’s a big pie—everyone reaches their hand in and gets a slice. It’s very communal; it’s a very social thing that people can connect with as a group, and that is at the heart of what I am trying to do with my life. I want to supply something people can gather around.”
Gore’s passion for community initially manifested itself as a collective drum circle that he created, where he would gather the public and jam out rhythmic beats in a ceremonious bustle. Then he had a pizza epiphany.
“Pizza Sunday was a thing at my house where my wife and I would have some people over,” he said. “Then I eventually thought, ‘Why don’t I make the pie myself?’ As my wife started inviting people over, soon I was serving for five, and then 10, and the next thing I knew, I thought, ‘Why don’t I turn this into a business?’”
What separates GoreMade Pizza other pizza catering services is that he uses a genuine stone pizza oven for events, which is mobile if you can believe it, so he can prepare your pizzas on the scene. His menu is continuously changing, dependent on the quality and availability of ingredients he finds in local farmers’ markets—from Clintonville to Westerville to New Albany. Not to mention a couple of backdoor mushroom deals from Swainway Farms. “Swainway’s mushrooms are a magical thing,” Gore said.
There’s a little bit of mysticism in Gore and his pizza story, too. It’s hard to have a guy lugging a monstrous pizza oven around and not have him enjoy a special relationship to the food. Gore can talk pizza for hours and isn’t afraid to be colorful in his prose.
“The first time I tried a wood-fired pizza, I sh*t my pants,” he laughed. “When I found [an oven] for sale, I had exactly enough money—down to the penny—in my savings account to buy one, and so I did. I am not the cheapest around, but you cannot get a more loved pizza. Nobody goes to three different farmers’ markets to make your pie. I don’t know how I do it. It is actually pretty crazy. But I know why I do it: I do it because it is romantic.”
Gore’s romanticism is also what keeps him fascinated with his customers; he likes to get to know the person behind each slice—to find out what feeds their creativity and curiosity.
“I get off on what people want,” Gore said. “I want to meet that person who wants double bacon and corn. Who are they? I want to know them.”
The subtle nuances of getting a pizza just right may as well be rocket science. From the flaky texture of the dough to the quality of the toppings, it’s not easy to make a perfect pie.
“If you have never made dough, it is alive,” Gore said. “You are cultivating a living organism in a floury paste using time, temperature, and leaven to create something far more delicious than the sum of its parts,” he said.
For 15 bucks a head, and a $150 flat fee, you can have GoreMade Pizzas made from scratch at your next event. Gore’s unique and affectionate approach to freshly prepared pies is a sure wood-fired way to capture a pizz-a your heart.
For more, visit goremadepizza.com.