Pickup’s Pizza brings true thin crust artistry to Eagle
EAGLE — The story of how Pickup’s Pizza was born sounds a bit like a sitcom pilot.
Picture this: Four Midwesterners move to a Colorado mountain town, where they meet one another and forge a friendship. During their revelries, they discover their mutual longing for the Chicago-style, thin crust pizzas they all loved. Eventually, they decide to build their own wood fire outdoor oven so they can concoct the pies they crave and at some point, they decide its time to bring the pizza they are passionate about to Eagle.
And thus, Pickup’s Pizza was born.
The four aforementioned friends are Tim Jerding, Angelica Parkison and Shannon and Oliver Philpott.
“We started doing it for fun. We were talking about pizza all day, every day. We just decided we needed to bring it to all of Eagle,” said Shannon Philpott.
For the record, while they are leaping into business together, the principals at Pickup’s Pizza all have other jobs as well. Jerding works at Bonfire Brewing, Parkison is employed at Red Canyon Cafe, Shannon Philpott works for Vail Resorts and as a landscaper and Oliver Philpott is a chef. From the time they decided to open a pizzeria to the time Pickup’s debuted was five months.
The operation is using a pizza oven “rescued” from a Denver restaurant.
“If we hadn’t rescued the oven from that place in Denver, it would have gone to the scrap heap. That would have been a shame because it’s a great oven,” said Jerding.
“It took nearly a town of people to move it. It took 14 people,” said Shannon Philpott. And that was just one of the challenges the group faced in opening their business.
As Parkison notes, “This was literally built on blood, sweat and tears.”
The sweat part is obvious, the blood and tears reflect construction stories at the site, located at the intersection of Fourth Street and U.S. Highway 6 in Eagle, next to Yoga Off Broadway.
It’s all in the name
Just as its name proclaims, Pickup’s Pizza doesn’t deliver, with one exception we will get to in a minute. Customers can call in their order or drop by and wait for their pizza.
There is, however, a direct order line located at Bonfire Brewing on Second Street. Customers can pick up this Batphone, call in an order and the Pickup’s crew will deliver the pie. The relationship has a lot to do with the fact that Jerding works both spots. And that’s not the only Bonfire tie-in.
Pickup’s is artisan pizza, as demonstrated by the fact that its dough yeast comes from Bonfire. That’s just the start.
“We always treat every ingredient as a star. If you ask any one of us about the salt we use, we will talk about it for 20 minutes,” said Oliver Philpott.
That unrefined pink sea salt is mined by RealSalt in Heber City, Utah.
The pizza sausage is made on site from pork raised by McDonald Family Farms in Brush. It is raw when placed on the pizza and cooked as the pie bakes. The dough is made from organic flour milled in Platteville. All the vegetables some from Eagle Springs Organic Farms in Silt.
At first sight, a diner notices that Pickup’s Pizza isn’t a standard pie. The pizza is made in a traditional round shape, but it is cut into 2-inch squares, not the elongated slices that one normally sees. That’s another hallmark of Chicago-style thin crust pizza.
“That way, you don’t have to put down your beer to eat it,” said Oliver Philpott.
In addition to the pickup operation, Pickup’s Pizza is capitalizing on the truck tie-in. Right now the business sign is a ’64 GMC parked out front. It’s one of Oliver Philpott’s project cars. Inside the eatery, a truck hood has been repurposed as the pizza menu. Speaking of the menu, pizzas come in 12-inch and 16-inch sizes and basic cheese pizzas start at $10 and $14 respectively.
After a soft, pre-Christmas opening, Pickup’s Pizza is open for business Monday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m. The business will do special lunch orders with two days’ notice. To order, call 970-328-3388.