Chris Hill, A Slice of New Jersey Food Truck, talks mobile pizza business
This week on the Hot Slice Podcast we talk mobile pizza business with Chris Hill, owner of A Slice of New Jersey in Byram, New Jersey.
Before starting A Slice of New Jersey, Chris was a physical education/health teacher. After being laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chris began his pizza odyssey with no background in the pizza or restaurant business. For 10 years though, he had always had a fascination with pizza, traveling the world to study pizza making. His pizza travels took him to Coalfire Pizza (Chicago, Illinois); The Dough Bros (Galway, Ireland); Joe’s Pizza (New York, NY), Zeneli Pizza (New Haven, Connecticut); No. 900 Pizzeria (Montreal, Canada); Sorbillo (Naples, Italy), Mission Pizza Napoletana (Winston-Salem, North Carolina); Metro Pizza (Las Vegas, Nevada); Settebello Pizzeria (Salt Lake City, Utah), Scottie’s Pizza Parlor (Portland, Oregon); Pizzeria Beddia (Philadelphia, PA); and Bonci (Rome, Italy).
The circumstances of the pandemic heightened that interest, and he began to pursue the perfect pizza and then scale it to sell pizzas at farmer’s markets. Those humble beginnings catapulted Chris into a thriving mobile pizza business. A Slice of New Jersey concentrates on prebooked public events and private catering. A big component of his public events is giving customers the opportunity to pre-order their pizza. It helps Chris manage the kitchen and operation side of the food truck.
The menu is grounded on a unique pizza crust made from dough that is fermented for 48 hours and uses a blend of artisan flours, including a local wheat sourced from Sussex County, New Jersey. Chris also sources seasonal produce from local farms.
A Slice of New Jersey’s Pizza Menu
The pizza menu has staple favorites like the margherita and pepperoni. There is also Drunken Pig with a house-made vodka sauce, fresh mozzarella, Italian sausage, parmigiano-reggiano, basil and extra virgin olive oil. The Cremini-Miny-Moe features roasted cremini mushrooms, ricotta, fresh mozzarella, garlic infused olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, thyme and black pepper. The seasonal pies are getting more attention as his customers look for something different, like the Life is a Peach with peaches, prosciutto, mascarpone, toasted walnuts, basil, balsamic drizzle and The Autumn-ic Bomb with house-made butternut squash purée, pancetta, fontina, red onions, fried sage and house-made spicy maple syrup.
The Hot Slice Podcast Interview with Chris Hill
Now that you’ve had a bit of an overview on Chris Hill and A Slice of New Jersey, here’s what’s this week’s The Hot Slice Podcast with Pizza Today:
- Learning pizza making
- Getting the business started
- Creating pizza dough for scale
- Transitioning to a food truck
- Strategy of the mobile business
- Per-ordering for public events
- Catering focus
- The pizza menu favorites
- Work/Life balance
This week’s The Hot Slice Podcast hosts are Editor in Chief Jeremy White and Executive Editor Denise Greer.
Thanks to our sound engineer and designer Katie Wilson.