I am trying to open a Chicago thin crust pizza shop just north of Tampa FL. Are there any Tampa pizza makers that can help me out with some advice, or work with me on developing the perfect Chicago thin crust and sauce clone. I grew up in the Joliet area (New Lenox) and miss the great taste.
I lived in FL for several years, even though I am back in my home state of Wisconsin now, I may be able to offer some insight into Florida pizza, what I have seen that works, and that which doesn't.
I am not trying to bust your balls, with what I have posted below. I am just warning you that Chicago-style pizza has not historically been a sought after product in and around the Tampa Bay Area. Do you have any previous pizza experience? If not, I would suggest working at an existing pizza shop for at least 6 months to learn some skills, then after that 6 months, reevaluate your plans to see if this is a venture you still want to get into.
Every single pizza place that I found to be a decent thin crust in the bay area has failed horribly within their first 12 months of opening. The pizza places that do thrive down there are greasy pan-cooked Greek-style pizza with absolute garbage for toppings such as pre-cooked sausage that resembles dog food in both appearance and flavor, watery, chunky sauce, imitation cheese blends, pre-cooked veggies that are dripping with grease, etc etc etc. Then you have issues with the water and humidity levels down there, it is not usually conducive for a thin crispy crust. I cannot even begin to count the people from Illinois who thought by them offering real pizza, or Chicago style hot dogs, that they would be millionaires in a few short months. You will be dealing with retirees with very tight purse strings, and low-life unemployed part-time criminals as your customer base. They typically want cheap, not quality. I am suggesting you do some major league research before spending a dime. You are not the first to try this, and you will not be the last either. Try to find a place that serves the style of pizza you want to offer, see if they are even open, chances are that they are gone & done for the very reasons I am explaining.