Previous local construction manager starts a portable pizza business in Summit County
On the morning of Friday, Sept. 16, Ray Mallory huddled in a Patagoina puffer jacket under a pop-up tent.
Behind him, a red, cubed-shaped trailer with “Salvador’s Pizza” written in white along the side held a shelf of individually wrapped pizza dough balls.
Dark wood cutting boards lined the table, not yet full of samples. The market still had another 30 minutes until pedestrians started to stroll through.
At around 8:40 a.m., 20 minutes from opening, a vendor from a few stalls down approached his table — the first customer of the day. He ordered two pepperoni pizzas and a veggie, which Mallory said would be ready in a mere 15 minutes.
Ray Mallory found a way to harness locals, friends, family and even other market vendors through his business, Salvador’s Pizza, that he started in April.
Mallory moved to Summit County from Kansas City eight years ago with his wife. He now lives in Summit Cove with her and their three daughters and runs a business he never saw coming.
Before Salvador’s, Mallory worked in construction management and up until June, he worked for Breckenridge Crane Service.
Sal Lopez, one of Mallory’s best friends and the namesake of the company, said he never expected Mallory to open a pizza business. Nevertheless, “I feel like he’s doing great,” Lopez said. “I’m really proud of him.”
Mallory said his inspiration was to provide the community with a product he couldn’t find locally. A couple of times a year, Mallory and his family make the hour-and-a-half drive to Denver just to fill their pizza cravings.
That worked temporarily, but Mallory admitted he couldn’t drive to Denver every time he wanted pizza. “It would be, ‘Hey, I want what I can’t have up here,’” Mallory said. “And then it was, ‘Okay, let’s make it.’”
During family dinners, Mallory would work on his recipe. He got better and better until he realized he had a quality product on his hands.
Eventually, Mallory saw a business opportunity. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, which Mallory called a “kick in the rear.”
He consulted with Lopez, who had worked at Pasquini’s Pizzeria in Denver for 10 years, to get started. Lopez answered Mallory’s questions, helped him learn about the industry and connected him with vendors.
Mallory said one night, he and Lopez were chatting about the business, but Mallory still didn’t know what to call it. Right then and there, he decided to name it after his friend.
“As soon as I heard Ray wanted to do that, it was amazing,” Lopez said. “I just wished him the best of luck and gave him all my experience that I could.”
So what makes Mallory’s pizza stand out? Mallory said the pizza dough is the hook. “I take care of the product,” he said. “The flour that we use is the finest, nicest flour that you can buy.”
In addition to the high quality, Mallory uses a rotating supply of handmade pizza dough that takes three days to make, then uses a portable pizza oven that simulates a wood-burning stove to get that Neapolitan-style look and taste.
“I mean, it’s a living product,” Mallory said. “It’s a very fragile product, especially up here at 9,000 feet. Things go wrong very, very quickly.”
Once in the oven, the whole pizza only cooks for 60 to 90 seconds.
On top, Mallory uses tomatoes and flour from an Italian company in New Jersey, parmesan cheese from a market stall two down from him at the Dillon Farmers Market, herbs from Denver and olive oil from Breckenridge.
For now, Mallory uses his portable pizza oven in his tiny trailer and has only started to think of a brick-and-mortar location.
A cheese pizza is typically $12 and pies with toppings are around $13.
This was Mallory’s last weekend at the Dillon Farmers Market, but he brings his trailer to The Pad in Silverthorne most weekend evenings and is available to book for private events through email@example.com or through an Instagram account direct messages at @salvadorspizzaco.
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