J&B’s aims for a bigger slice of the pie
Nothing says come hither like a 4,300lb mobile pizza oven.
When J&B’s Wood Fired Pizza parked their oven on Kindley Field Road, St David’s for the first time three weeks ago, people lined up in the wind and rain.
“It was so windy that one kind customer with a tent business went home and came back with tent pegs to hold our tent down,” said J&B’s founder Timothy Jackson.
They sold 150 pizzas.
Now they’ll be making a regular call to St David’s every Wednesday evening, and have a similar service in Sandys and at the Bermuda College.
They’re also offering delivery in Devonshire, Paget and Pembroke, and have thoughts of expanding to other parishes.
Dr Jackson, wife Michelle Jackson, and nieces Maquira and Meleina Brock, got their baptism of fire at the 2017 America’s Cup, and have been steadily building the business ever since, catering parties and events.
“Now people’s eyes light up when they see us coming,” Maquira said. “We can make pizza for them right there on the spot.”
Dr Jackson thinks it’s the crispy, sugar-free, thin crust that makes J&B’s stand out.
Meleina thinks it’s their fresh toppings. Some of their ingredients, such as the lemon grass in their homemade tea, comes straight from their back garden.
“The America’s Cup opened our eyes to how to effectively and efficiently run a small business,” Dr Jackson said. “It’s important to have committed individuals working with you and for you.”
Maquira said they’d come a long way since their beginnings two years ago.
“We didn’t have a website,” Maquira said. “We relied heavily on our social media presence. I started a Facebook and Instagram page for us and it grew from there.”
They try to be responsive to customer suggestions, and complaints.
“If there’s a customer complaint, we jump right on it,” Dr Jackson said. “We don’t want to lose any customers. If we could win back a customer by providing them with a fresh chilled lemon grass tea and another pizza, it’s worth it.”
But they get a lot of positive feedback from customers.
“Sometimes when we do events, visitors will come up to us and say our pizza reminds them of home,” Dr Jackson said. “Then I’ll say, I’ll bet you’re from New York. We get a lot of compliments from New Yorkers. We’ve also had some Italians say our pizza reminds them of Italy.”
But he trained in Colorado.
Dr Jackson is a former principal of Sandys Secondary Middle School, and is now the chairman of the Board of Education. He started J&B’s to have more time to spend with his family.
He said their biggest challenge has been knowing when and how to expand.
They cook out of an industrial kitchen in Pembroke.
“We constantly get ‘you need a storefront’,” he said. “But the overhead would be quite challenging for a small business. The cost is prohibitive.”
They offer a range of pizza options including veg delight, meat lovers and the onion patch, but by far their most popular pizza is ‘the works’ with mozzarella cheese, marinara sauce, sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, red onions, pineapple and basil.
Pizzas are 10in and range from $12 to $18.
J&B’s is at the Bermuda College on Wednesdays from 11.30am to 2pm, and at Kindley Field Road, St David’s near Double Dip Ice Cream, on Wednesdays between 4.30pm and 8.30pm, and in Sandys at Lodge Somers Isle on Middle Road from 4.30pm to 8.30pm.
Deliveries to Pembroke, Paget and Devonshire are on Friday from 11am to 2pm, then pick-up again from 4.30pm to 11.30pm and on Saturdays from 4.30pm to 11.30pm.
• For information see www.jbwoodfiredpizza.com, call 707-4992, or see @jbswoodfiredpizza on Instagram and J&B’s Wood Fired Pizza on Facebook. Orders can also be made through the new Sargasso Sea app
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