Monday, December 28, 2020

Pizza in Thailand?


There is a serious lesson here.  The Pizza itself is Itallian but that is merely an accident of discovery.  I gave seen its steady market penetration bhere in North America over decades.  We now have it sold by the slice in Vancouver and that went from first adopter around 1980 or so to multiple imitators to a pizza slice franchise near you with few Italians involved.

The lesson here is remarkable.  Any community anywhere will support a proper pizza restaurant.  We have barely begun.  Now you know what to do everywhere when you arrive as a new immigrant.

It is also true that a proper stone oven is what every village used for day by day bread making.  Wives would bring their loaves down to be baked.  Obviously far superior than the household oven.  And the wood smoke is a lovely touch.

I would like to see the ovens been available to home cooks as well during the day time hours when making a pizza is not that important.

What kind of a business can I do with $550 capital?

George Bowman·
August 31

Laborer in Thailand at D&G Resort (2001–present)

I’ve created an entrepreneurial monster. Truth be told it was not my original intent, all I wanted to begin with was a pizza. Preferably a thin crust topped with anchovies, onions and extra cheese. That’s all I wanted. Now let me explain what happened.

My home is in north central Thailand in an area many people would call the boonies. My wife (Dee) and I live on the outskirts of the village that she grew up in when we both retired. The community is mostly comprised of farmers and various Mom & Pop kind of shops. I’ve lived here for years and have most of the comforts that anybody living in America would have. But what it ain’t got, is pizza.

The photo below shows a website I was perusing early one morning, while enjoying a cup of coffee in my office. This guy is from California and built his own wood fired oven or what I simply call a pizza oven. I ended up watching his videos about the process over and over again and eventually came up with a plan to satisfy my pizza hunger pains.

It took me a good month of scratching my head and mixing cement, but eventually, I got one made. It was not nearly as fancy as the one seen on Youtube, but the important part is that it worked. Dee and I learned how to make pizza dough and finally I was able to eat a long awaited culinary delight. My anchovy pizza. Only one to be exact and then the entrepreneurial monster took over. It wasn’t me, it was Dee. She is the one on the left.

She wanted to make and sell pizzas to local villagers. I thought the idea was plum crazy. My thinking was that people around here eat Thai food and their not going to pay B239 or $7.50 for this homemade delight. Turns out, I was wrong.

Now let’s combine current events and talks of gloom and recession with the entrepreneurial spirit and making pizzas. First off the Thai government got mad at Facebook about some political posts and said that a lawsuit could be upcoming. The officials even went so far as to say that they might block this popular website from Thailand. But, I doubt that it will ever happen simply because the majority of Thais use Facebook on a seemingly constant basis and would revolt if it was taken away.

Instead of worrying about the government, the pandemic or countries collapsing, Dee kept taking steps forward. Her and the pizza gang of four began with free posts on Facebook as shown below about their style of pizza all with a taste of Thai.

Our pizza joint is currently only open on Fridays and Saturdays. Why? I am the fire control master and those are the only two days that I have available. The rest of my time is spent on important stuff like fishing and photography.

This past week Dee and her team had worked out all of the kinks and decided to open to the public. They sold 37 pizzas. In the boonies of Thailand. And the orders for next week are already being called in. Last I heard was the number 40 and the possibility of being open on Sundays. Additionally, I heard rumors through the Bamboo Grapevine that my job is in jeopardy if I don’t agree to more work days. The total cost for the project to include the checkerboard uniforms (I have no idea why) was a little over $500.

This personal story illustrates why some people make money and others don’t. My original goal was to make a pizza just for me. Obviously, I ain’t much of an entrepreneur. On the other hand Dee has turned into an entrepreneurial monster…

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