Born and raised on Long Island, NY, owner/operator Josh was always surrounded by great pizza. In 2011, Josh moved to Mississippi in support of his wife's career change, and quickly realized good pizza was nowhere to be found. The only real option was to figure out how to make it at home!
How hard could it be?
After a few months of research and failure after failure from every generic online recipe, Josh finally found an online forum full of pizza enthusiasts with tried and true recipes for all types of pizza. After starting over using resources from PizzaMaking.com, Josh finally found success with making NY style pizza at home!
Back to the basics
In 2011, the market for small portable wood-fired ovens was extremely limited. Josh decided to try building a homemade cob oven, which is made from components easily found in nature. Although the oven wasn't pretty, it was the start of something so much more.
From hobby to obsession
What started as simply a desire to make NY pizza at home, has now become a full-blown obsession in cooking with fire. There is something so primal in making your own dough, your own toppings, building a fire and making pizza that we would find any excuse to throw a pizza party. After years of experimenting with dough recipes, cheese and tomato manufactureres, toppings, times and temperatures, the recipes for Papalias were starting to take shape and we were ready to share them with the public.
Papalias - How it officially started
In 2020, the pandemic changed the life of millions and Josh was no exception when he was suddenly laid-off from his 9 to 5. Instead of staying at a career that was completely unsatisfying, Josh's wife pushed him to take a chance doing something he loved. On October 15th 2020, Papalias had it's first ever public pop-up! On that day, we had one portable wood fired oven and made nearly 30 pizzas in 4 hours. Josh had never worked in food service until this day, and realized very quickly there was a lot to learn. Papalias continued making pizzas with small pizza ovens and a tent through the end of 2021.
How it's going
One year after the first public pop-up, Josh realized that selling pizzas out of a tent with portable ovens was not a sustainable business. A larger oven was needed to lower wait times and setup and breakdown needed to be faster. The idea for our wood-fired pizza trailer was envisioned and the journey began to convert a horse trailer into our new home. Other than the vinyl lettering, the trailer renovation was done completely in-house.
The future of Papalias
2022 was the first full year in business with the new trailer. We've met some wonderful people catering weddings, birthdays, corporate events and more! We also continued to pop-up at our favorite local breweries, wineries and markets. We hope to continue growing and expanding, with the possibility of opening a permanent location in the future. Until then, we appreciate you supporting this new small business and we will do our best to continue providing something different to the New England area!
What's Pizza Napoletano?
Now that NY pizza was finally being made in Mississippi, Josh was curious about other styles of pizza being discussed on the pizza forum including the elusive Pizza Napoletana (also known as Neapolitan Pizza). The main challenge with making this style pizza at home is the need for an oven capable of reaching at least 800 degrees Fahrenheit. This is why Pizza Napoletana is traditionally made in a wood-fired oven, though natural gas/propane and electric ovens are available as well. This pizza style is very polarizing, you either love the soft floppy pizza or you hate it. This is why Papalias combines pizza Napoletano and NY style to create its own unique style of pizza.