Vail Valley Bizwatch: Old Forge Pizza Co.
Location: 34295 Highway 6 Riverwalk Village Market Building, Unit C1B Edwards, CO 81632 and 2141 N. Frontage Road, West Vail, 81657
Date opened: July 18.
Owners: Sarah Millett and Brian Butler.
What goods or services do you provide?
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Old Forge Pizza Co. is one of the Vail Valley’s most authentic American pizza restaurants. What makes Old Forge Pizza Co. truly unique is its ability to offer something to every pizza lover. Old Forge Pizza Co. offers the choice of bake-at-home or baked pizza for the take-out market as well as baked pizzas for our dine-in customers. This includes all three of our crusts: Thin crust, Old Forge style and gluten-free.
In our new Edwards location, customers can enjoy paninis, hoagies, wings, our famous garlic and sweet knots, pepperoni and sausage rolls, salads, ice cream and, of course, pizza served on any three of our crusts. The crust is our foundation for goodness. It combines good, simple ingredients with hours of patience and hard work. Hand stretched and crafted, our dough rises slowly every day to give us the “light and crispy” pizza crust known as Old Forge. Often described as “neither thick nor thin”, Old Forge Style Pizza separates us from other pizza places. Now with a full bar, wines and beer, our new location is larger and more open to allow for celebrations, movie crowds, kids’ parties, corporate events, sports teams and more.
What’s new or exciting at your place?
2012 has been an exciting year of expansion for the owners of Old Forge Pizza Co. In January, the new West Vail location opened followed by an Edwards relocation to Riverwalk in July. The new Edwards and West Vail locations allowed the owners of Old Forge Pizza Co. to expand their menu and cater to the larger crowds interested in eating pizza fresh from the Old Forge Pizza kitchen.
In the past, Old Forge Pizza Co. has been able to serve the Vail Valley by making the only fresh and healthy bake-at-home pizza. Locals and visitors alike loved the experience of cooking Old Forge from the comforts of their own kitchen. With the addition of state-of-the-art pizza ovens, in both new locations, Old Forge is pleased to serve its signature simple, fresh and healthy pizza from its own expanded kitchens.
The Edwards location launched its Cold Forge ice cream menu for the grand opening on Aug. 17. We will also be introducing our expanded menu items: Paninis, hoagies, wings, new salads, desserts and new pizzas.
What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition?
First, our traditional Old Forge Style Pizza is like no other you’ll find in the Vail Valley, or the Western Slope. The origins of Old Forge Style pizza are rooted in Old Forge, Pa., a small town of approximately 8,500 outside Scranton. With the nation’s sixth highest percentage of Italians (approximately 41 percent), it’s no secret that the pizza business is highly competitive here in the city known as the “Pizza Capital of the World.” One of the city’s oldest families, the Ghigiarelli family, began making pizza in the Old Forge Style. It is believed that Mrs. Ghigiarelli used to serve her homemade pizza to the area’s coal miners who gathered to play cards. Old Forge Pizza in Vail makes theirs in the typical rectangular in shape with a tangy red sauce topped with a creamier cheese on a crispy thicker crust – staying true to its history.
Old Forge Pizza Co. also is the only pizza restaurant in the Vail Valley serving “Take N Bake” pizza! You call or stop in and order it just how you’d like it, then we prepare it and hand it over so you can bake it in your own oven for the hottest, freshest pizza.
Old Forge Pizza Co. continues to focus on the simplicity of a few pure ingredients to assemble the freshest pizza possible. This tradition along with the Old Forge neighborhood pizzeria feel is what sets us apart from the competition.
What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? What can your customers expect from you?
We want to provide top notch customer service, quality homemade pizza and other delectables at affordable prices in a friendly, neighborhood atmosphere. Our staff is well educated in the art of customer service – notably, the customer always comes first. Kids and families are our favorite customers, and we want to make sure each person who comes in the door feels like they’re at home.
Tell us a little about your background, education and experience:
Brian Butler has over 10 years’ experience in the service industry holding management position in hotels and restaurants. He left a lucrative career in sales to make the greatest pizza on earth, which just happens to be his hometown pizza, too.
Sarah Millett has a background in finance, consulting and consuming large quantities of pizza. Sarah has worked close to 30 years in family operated restaurants and is thrilled to bring her hometown pizza to the Vail Valley.