The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing small businesses like West Kelowna’s Pizzamoreh to innovate to survive.
Pizzamoreh recently expanded to add Morepieh, a ghost kitchen that offers frozen take and bake pies made by owner Patricia Guest.
“We’re lucky that we’re small enough to innovate,” said Guest. “We know small business is going to be nailed.”
Ghost kitchens, which offer the menus of several different restaurants prepared out of one kitchen, are big in New York and other large centres where rent is high. They don’t offer in-house seating.
“I wanted to do a home-style thing, because it’s comfort food,” said Guest, adding her nickname is now Mamamoreh. “People want to experience that ease and that comfort of mom’s cooking.”
Guest had already done the research and development for Morepieh including trial pies.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated her plans to open.
Morepieh opened about three weeks ago, just as people went into social isolation.
People can order their pies online and pick up their food through the Pizzamoreh drive-through window or have it delivered through local delivery service NinjaNow.
The pies are delivered frozen for people to pop in their oven.
Morepieh started with five savoury pies and three sweet pies and offers gluten-free options.
So far, the most popular is the Shepherd’s Pie.
Guest also offers a vegan squash pie with spinach, cranberries and nuts in phyllo pastry.
“I think it’s the best thing that I’ve ever made in my life,” said Guest. “It sounds weird but it’s delicious.”
Guest’s favourite is the pulled pork pie, which is just like her piglet pizza.
Sweet pies include apple, blueberry and a cheesecake created by Guests’s son, Dax.
At Pizzamoreh, which is run by Dax, alcohol sales are down a bit, as well as sales of peripheral menu items such as salads. Pizza sales, however, are up.
“Our frozen pizzas are huge,” said Guest. “People are coming in and buying 10 at a time.”
Guest said they are now selling
pizza steels pans that give customers the same results baking pizza at home as in Pizzamoreh’s wood fire oven.
“If you put that in your oven or on your barbecue, you cannot tell the
difference between our pizzas and the frozen take and bake,” she said.
Pizzamoreh changed over to steel last July.
Guest had been skeptical of the steel, but after three days of use said the steel was hands down better.
You can buy a 3/8 inch thick 14-by14-inch carbon steel made locally for Pizzamoreh for $75. The price includes three pizzas.
Guest has also begun growing greens to sell and has over 400 plants started, with plans to teach people how to grow greens.
Guest also plans to start online cooking classes with details to be announced on the Pizzamoreh and Morepieh Facebook pages.
Down the road, Guest plans to launch another menu out of Pizzamoreh. Break-eh, will offer breakfast foods.
People can order fresh or frozen pizza or frozen pies for pick up at 2565 Main St. online at pizzamoreh.ca
For delivery, order online at NinjaNow.com or use the Ninjanow app.