At Fire Within, our team are proud supporters of the awesome clients who decide to make the choice of running their wood fired mobile businesses. These oven owners are the reason we love our job. There is nothing more exciting than watching how our various customers utilize their ovens to gain financial freedom and create amazing businesses!
As a child my palate was developed, and a bit spoiled, by all the amazing Italian inspired food created by my Italian grandparents, Rose and Pietro. From their kitchen came wonderful traditional creations like melanzani spremi (pressed and marinated eggplant) over crostini, and hand made pasta like fresh goat ricotta ravioli and cavatelli, and meat dishes like braciole, house made sausage, and the coveted meatballs. For Christmas it was bacala, traditional salt cod. Every occasion was a celebration, from birthdays to holidays, each were marked by its own special combination of dishes.
I spent many of my childhood years in the kitchen along side these masters absorbing not only the calories, but also the technique in creating the special dishes. While I would go on to pursue other career ambitions, predominantly in the corporate world, but my heart and my passion were always in the kitchen.
In 2006 I gave in and returned to the kitchen to pursue my purpose and satisfy my true passion of food and wine. My journey took me to culinary school where I honed my skills as a student of classic French and Italian technique and, unapologetically, in the wine cellar for a well-rounded education. From culinary school, returning to my roots, I continued my culinary journey in Italy on a self-guided eight-month food, wine and cultural education.
I learned vine cultivation and wine making by working in the field in the shadows of a 13th century castle in southern Tuscany. I worked on a sheep farm in Umbria and learned the skills of artesian cheese, making several different types of pecorino and fresh ricotta. I worked on a farm in Abruzzi and learned about the natural cultivation of the land and the true meaning of local and seasonal. And I worked in the kitchen of a small Tuscan trattoria further developing my style.
Now, back home in Colorado, I bring this passion of food to the streets of Denver. I am an advocate for local, seasonal and natural foods, because it tastes better, its better for you and better for the environment. We coax amazing flavor out of the most basic ingredients. We don’t want to confuse your palate, we want to tease it and let it dance.
Business Background: Tom owned a cabinet shop for 30 years and I was the head baker and chef of our bread baking & catering business, BakeHouse. In 2009, Tom’s brother took over the cabinet shop & we moved to Las Cruces, NM and rebuilt BakeHouse. We specialize in small event catering and European Sourdough Bread, Bagel and Bialy baking. We bake with a traditional wood fired oven that replicates the Communal Ovens throughout Europe. We use the year round Las Cruces Farmer’s & Crafts Market on Saturdays as our storefront.
We are fortunate in that Las Cruces, NM is a tourist and Snow Bird destination, with many visitors from the East Coast. There is also a large East Coast transplant contingent. We’ve built our niche around these unique parameters. Since both Tom and I are native NYC Tri-State Area transplants ourselves, we are familiar with what these customers are hungry for. So with that said, the one piece of the puzzle that we were missing was good Pizza! That’s when we discovered Fire Within and it was the perfect fit for our business model and venue, to be mobile but not a food truck!
We love feeding people good food! Our slogan for Joshua’s Pie is “love people, cook them tasty food”. The Fire Within Mobile Pizza Oven just elevates the experience for us and for our customers. Our decision to add the Mobile Pizza Oven as Joshua’s Pie is to expand our niche and to be able to bring our tasty food to the people rather than waiting for them to come to us.
The Fire Within Conference is a must. Before we decided to invest in a Fire Within Oven, we booked our tickets for the conference. To be able to have a full 4 days to interact with people who already had an oven and to be able to use the oven was so very important. Even though we already have a foodservice business, we couldn’t imagine bringing on Joshua’s Pie without having gone to the conference. Hands down, this is one of the wisest decisions you can make.
What was your business experience before buying your mobile pizza oven? I am what some might call a serial entrepreneur. For as long as I can remember I was always involved in business enterprising activities. I started my business at the ripe age of 13 building and selling computers. I have always been enamored by the whole concept of business and spent a lot of effort learning, experiencing and absorbing everything I possibly can.
Who do you see as your primary customers and why? Our primary customer is always evolving. What we do is very unique and we are able to provide an incredible experience that virtually everybody can afford and appreciate. Our goal is to make sure everybody is happy and walks away with a newfound affinity for pizza and our brand. Ultimately we want people to think about us and invite us next time their friend is having a birthday, their neighbors are hosting a block party or they are getting married.
What was your journey coming to this decision? Raised in a culturally diverse atmosphere I grew up on the rustic style of northern Mexican cooking, the glorious spices of western Indian cuisine mixed with a bit of traditional American fare. At the ripe age of 18 I joined the Navy and I was fortunate to be afforded the opportunity to travel the world and experience a vast array of cultures. Arriving in Colorado I was destined to get a better understanding of flavor and technique. I immersed myself in food turning my small kitchen into a sort of lab creating cured meats, ground sausages, breads, fresh pastas, cheeses, butter, sauces and countless other culinary creations. What I began to realize was my true passion was cooking with fire. I begun to really appreciate the transformative power that a simple flame could have on people and food.
Why are you in the mobile pizza oven business? Mostly because I am crazy and I love fire. On a more serious note I do it because of it’s simplistic beauty that can take a lifetime to master. . Its amazing to know you are a part of something with so many opportunities present from festivals to caterings to using this business as a launch pad for a traditional restaurant.
What do you wish every person should know before becoming an owner of a Fire Within Mobile Pizza Oven? As with any small business it will be a lot of hard work and an incredible learning opportunity. If you decide to become a member of this incredible community make sure you have the passion that true Fire Within, as this is what will get you through the darkest days and make the rewards that much greater. You will make mistakes but learn from them, most importantly learn what not to do again. Above all else you must be flexible and understand the only constant is everything changes.
Chef David “DK” Kimball is currently the Chef/Owner of DRK Culinary and Fire and Slice Mobile Wood Fire Pizza in Salt Lake City, UT. He also owns and operates Oak Wood Fire Kitchen in Draper, Utah. In April 2011, DK sat in a Fire Within workshop and after a 20 year career in the restaurant industry, was inspired to return to a grassroots style of cooking using his own Fire Within Oven. DK likes to keep close to home using fresh and local ingredients. He can be found at Farmers’ Markets across the Wasatch front, working side by side with his family.
After 5 years in the Mobile Pizza Industry, DK opened a brick and mortar pizzeria Oak Wood Fire Kitchen. He works closely with his family, especially his 17 year-old pizziola daughter Tessah. DK is passionate about pizza, giving back, his family and is an avid supporter of ReAL Salt Lake.
Rachel Kimball is an educator who works with many school children through an outreach program affiliated with the University of Utah. 5 years ago, Rachel came to a Fire Within workshop to support her husband, “DK” in the adventure of mobile Wood Fire Pizza. 5 years ago, Rachel couldn’t stretch a dough ball, she couldn’t make a pizza, but she was a pretty good supporter of her chef husband. Rachel currently runs Fire and Slice Mobile Wood Fire Pizza whiles her husband DK, runs and operates “Oak Wood Fire Kitchen”. Rachel can now make dough, stretch dough, make pizza, drive a trailer and run all the day-to-day operations of a mobile catering business.
Discover the essential strategies every business owner must know in order to succeed. We start with the fundamentals of owning your own business based on the deep wisdom and know-how that only comes with real-life experience. Once you get a complete overview of our real-world business strategies, you’ll be able to easily avoid some of the common business pitfalls. Most importantly, this information will keep you focused on the path of success. We’ve included a proven business plan that takes the guesswork out of getting the right business permits, managing supply chains, advertising and much more. It’s as comprehensive as a franchise model, only without the rules so you are in complete control.