Author Topic: Pizza: The Gathering  (Read 5158 times)

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Offline Pizza De Puta

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Pizza: The Gathering
« on: September 05, 2012, 04:25:29 PM »
It's official:  Our dreams of own our own pizzaria in this little tourist town have now become a formal, written Business Plan.  Our tentative opening date is April 1, 2013 (ironic, I know).  We are well into Phase 1 which is learning recipes, practice baking, taste tests and menu development.

Phase 2:  Is all about finding and negotiating for various pieces of used equipment.  This phase will run concurrently with Phase 1, well into the New Year:  Since our start up budget is minimal (almost non-existent) and we don't want to have any debt (been there, done that, didn't like it), all of our equipment must be purchased from the extra cash flow of our existing, struggling in this sh**y economy, non-restaurant related business.  I am trying to buy pieces that are fairly new, in great shape, at a goal of 25% of new delivered cost. I'd like to open next year with less than $20K out of pocket.  Can it be done?

The ancient but rebuilt Blodgett 1048, purchased in July, is piece number one.  Today, the Blodgett has a companion, an American Eagle 30 qt mixer.  I found an ad on Craigslist and drove 50 miles to see this mixer.  It was in an old section of town and the owner wore a big buck knife.  I was worried about being skinned over this deal, literally!  But after he warmed-up he seemed like an OK sort so I put on my best Pawn Stars face and went to work on his $1300 asking price.  After 20 minutes of intense haggling, my son and I were loading the unit into our handy-dandy 3-horse trailer.  (Don't laugh, a horse trailer with a ramp can haul just about anything once the partitions are removed.  I've found the combo of a pick-up and a horse trailer much more useful and cost effective than the delivery or small box vans we once employed in our businesses).

This mixer is about 3 years old and was used lightly in a sandwich shop.  It may not be a Hobart, but I just don't have a Hobart Budget.  This mixer should get us by until actual sales volume dictates and pays for, a big 80 qt H.  When this occurs, this unit will make a nice "little" back-up or "other stuff" unit.  As you can see, it is in nice shape and purrs almost silently.  Now when people enter my wife's kitchen, they know she means business!

Well, I need 12 dough balls for this weekend's party and free catering gig so I'd better fire this baby up and see how she works.  Time to get to busy and stop monkeying around on the internet!!

Cost $700.

Out of Pocket So Far $2300.

Does this thread interest you and is it worth more posts on a continuing basis?

« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 07:09:27 PM by Pizza De Puta »
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Offline Michael130207

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Re: Pizza: The Gathering
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2012, 04:34:24 PM »
Absolutely, I'd love to hear more. I'm sure lots of others would too. This is the stuff of many a daydream! I like your approach. Nothing worse than a mountain of debt making you run faster on the treadmill. Best of luck, I look forward to following along!
Michael

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza: The Gathering
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2012, 04:35:42 PM »
Does this thread interest you and is it worth more posts on a continuing basis?


RE,

By all means!!

Peter

Offline Essen1

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Re: Pizza: The Gathering
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2012, 04:49:58 PM »
PdP,

Absolutely!

I'm wondering which "little tourist town" you're speaking of? I may not be that far from you.  :)
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 04:56:48 PM by Essen1 »
Mike

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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Pizza: The Gathering
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2012, 05:07:40 PM »
Very exciting. I will watch your progress with great interest.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Pizza De Puta

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Re: Pizza: The Gathering
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2012, 07:09:02 PM »
Wow! 12 dough balls in the same time it would have taken me to make two by hand . . . and that's first use without any learning curve! The machine could have made twenty with the same effort.  Just add the dry ingredients to the bowl, pour-in water and 4 bottles of beer, set the timer for 10 minutes, hit the green button, and done.  The new toy worked perfectly!!   I'm stoked!  ;D ;D
« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 11:06:36 AM by Pizza De Puta »
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Offline mkevenson

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Re: Pizza: The Gathering
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2012, 07:26:56 PM »
Hurray!!!! I love these stories and since I live in Kalifornia, I may be able to stop by and taste your wares. Keep the progress and pics coming.

Mark
"Gettin' better all the time" Beatles

Online Chaze215

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Re: Pizza: The Gathering
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2012, 08:15:05 PM »
Water and beer eh? Hmmmmmmmmm  ;D
Chaz

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Pizza: The Gathering
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2012, 08:21:32 PM »
Yes, by all means post everything, and congratulations!  Your living the dream.
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline JConk007

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Re: Pizza: The Gathering
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2012, 11:19:03 PM »
30 qt for $700 !! you done good !! have you decided on what type of Pizza tyoumay want to serve? where is the tuorist village? and YES keep em coming.!! I have found  it inspires people to follow along a new and exciting thread  and some will even take the plunge based on your experience and little nudge when they email  you Iam looking forward to more for sure !
john
I Love to Flirt with Fire! www.flirtingwithfirepizza.com


Offline rcbaughn

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Re: Pizza: The Gathering
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2012, 12:04:33 AM »
Does this thread interest you and is it worth more posts on a continuing basis?

That is a big yes from me. I recently posted on a thread about how I would love to get into the food service industry one day somehow. This is rather inspiring to say the least. And that seems like an amazing deal for the mixer. My little 6qt Kitchen-aid was 2/3rds that price new.
More is better..... and too much is just right.

Offline kdefay

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Re: Pizza: The Gathering
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2012, 12:55:24 AM »
My 30L spiral mixer was about $700 new, but it's Taiwanese in origin and I doubt it will have a long life.  I think you got a much better deal.  That looks like a very nice machine for the price!!
The USA, Myanmar, and Liberia are the three remaining countries in the world who do not use the metric system.  That's some fine company to keep!!

Buy a scale, think in grams, and welcome to the 21st century!!

Offline norma427

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Re: Pizza: The Gathering
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2012, 08:58:56 AM »
I agree, very interesting thread.  Congratulations and will be watching your thread.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Online slybarman

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Re: Pizza: The Gathering
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2012, 10:23:27 AM »
I am watching and living vicariously. I would love to tell corporate america to kiss my ass one day and open my own shop.  ;D

Offline zerogrifter

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Re: Pizza: The Gathering
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2012, 11:37:48 AM »
Hey Pizza De Puta - Weemis linked me to your thread and he was spot on, you are owning it :) This is an awesome thread thanks for documenting this stuff. It would be interesting to even hear about some of the things you've decided to try to do but went against for x,y, & z reasons and the route you decided to go (like with the mixer due to budget constraints) :)

I'm not sure if this will help you as much as its going to help me due to geographic restraints but my girlfriend brother who is trying to get testes deep in the entrepreneur scene pointed me in the direction of some incubators which might be amenable to budding business men. One site I found through some creative googling was http://www.culinaryincubator.com/ where some commercial kitchens will open their doors to people for a few bucks an hour or offer other services to help out the ambitiously cash strapped individuals like ourselves.

Keep it up dude - I'll be rooting for you from the other coast! :)

Offline Pizza De Puta

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Re: Pizza: The Gathering--Blodgett
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2012, 02:42:59 PM »
I posted most of this info elsewhere on this site but at the risk of being a bit redundant, want to include it here so the thread is complete. The first piece of my growing collection is a 70s vintage Blodgett 1048 purchased in July of this year.  It's primary purpose is for me practice my pizza making skills but with the budget being as tight as it is, it could very well be our centerpiece when we open next year until sales allow for a stack of new Marsals or similar.

This piece was used in a hotel and was in a disassembled state at the house of the hotel owner's "friend".  Driving 60 miles to its location, I was assured it was complete and only needed a few "adjustments" before it would be "ready to make the best pizza anywhere."  Asking price was $1500 which was well within the 25% range of $7600, the cost of a new unit.

Not seeing it run, I was dubious of the seller's claims and he came across as a bit of a weasel.  I had to get this piece cheap to prevent getting screwed.  Offering $700, the seller recoiled, reminding me that my offer was "ridiculously" lower than his asking price.  I told him I'd go $900 but that I was "all-in" at that price.  After excusing himself and consulting his wife, he accepted the offer.

Once home, my oldest son and I assembled the oven and discovered it was missing an internal flue plate and it needed an exhaust hood.  Hooking up the propane (it had been converted from gas) nothing worked.  The automatic safety valve was suspect and a local technician confirmed this.  This part was ordered but the oven was still dead.  A new thermostat completed the replacement of the control panel components.  The oven finally roared to life after three weeks of upgrades, repairs and tinkering.

Cost $1600 (acquisition plus parts and labor)

Out of Pocket So Far $2300.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 08:34:49 PM by Pizza De Puta »
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Offline Pizza De Puta

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Re: Pizza: The Gathering
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2012, 02:44:01 PM »
The burners light on the mighty Blodgett.
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Offline Pizza De Puta

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Re: Pizza: The Gathering
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2012, 02:45:04 PM »
With all the control components replaced, there isn't much that can go wrong now . . . knock on wood.
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Offline Pizza De Puta

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Re: Pizza: The Gathering
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2012, 02:47:17 PM »
An 18" old-fashioned New York Cheese pizza almost finished in the Mighty Blodgett!

Cook time as shown about 4 minutes, needs to be spun 120 degrees to the right and baked another 30 seconds or so with the door closed.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 09:42:09 PM by Pizza De Puta »
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Offline Pizza De Puta

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Re: Pizza: The Gathering - Prep Station
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2012, 11:41:40 PM »
My daily perusal of Craigslist is usually a waste of time but occasionally theres a diamond hidden amongst coal.  An ad for an Everest Refrigerated Sandwich Prep Table caught my eye.  The link, which was typical of this medium, was awful; terrible picture and virtually no information about the unit. With marketing brilliance such as this, its no wonder why this guy went out of business. An email to the seller provided no help other than hed be available three days hence.  A second email for address and appointment information was met only by a response asking me for my cell phone number.  I played his little game of parnoia but finally had an address to Google.

Figuring this unit cost $2500 new, I followed my budget goal of 25% of the new price, and loaded $600 into my wallet.  We arrived at a Spartan home furnished inside and out with old restaurant furniture and met by a man who was clearly beaten.  His eatery had failed and he was selling off a few assets in order to pay the rent.  Tough scene, really tough . . . I felt for the poor guy. 

The unit itself was gorgeous.  Just a couple of small dings, otherwise it looked new and very solidly built with a sharp digital display.  The owner showed me his receipt that he received when he bought this unit new:  $2760 delivered . . . in June 2011!!  Oh my, no wonder it looked sharp, its only a year old!  The Seller asked $1200.  I knew my wallet was underfunded but I decided to give it a shot, anyway, offering him the contents, which was instantly rejected.  No way.  Then the seller locked-up at $900, take it or leave it.  End of negotiations.

I rationalized that this refrigerated prep table would be perfect as a work station for food processing in the rear of the kitchen.  Mounted on big wheels, this mobile unit is 48 long, 32 deep, with a 12 work surface.  Its too narrow for making pizzas but perfect for keeping a continuous flow of toppings headed for the pizza make station, getting sides ready, or assembling desserts.  The 15 cu ft refrigerator would make a welcome addition to the main cooler and function as an emergency back-up in a pinch.  The doors opened smoothly and closed with a heavy thud, top-quality all the way. In short, this was a super-nice piece, nearly new, and loaded with utility. 

As we retreated back to the car and headed for home, I wanted to go back and make this deal work.  My wife and partner of 25 years, however, cast a dissenting vote. She reminded me that we already bought a mixer this month, lots of bills were coming due, and cash flow was going to be tight for a while.  Pointing-out that this transaction would be outside of our price goal of 25% of new, she reiterated that making exceptions such as this would be detrimental toward achieving the milestones of our business plan.  Wed also have to waste time finding a branch of our bank to withdraw more funds.

Our polite, mutually respectful argument went back and forth a few times as I kept a keen eye open for a local branch of my bank on the way toward the freeway.  Both of us made solid points but the debate can be summed-up by a license plate holder I saw recently in traffic:

Saw it, wanted it, had a fit, got it!

Cost:  $900

Out of Pocket So Far:  $3200.


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