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Exploring Life & Business with Kath Avedon of Mountain Crust

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kath Avedon.

Hi Kath, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
We have been throwing pizza parties since 2006 when Ryan’s mom got a Mugnaini pizza oven for their home in Minneapolis. After high school, Ryan moved out west to attend the University of Denver, and in between his sophomore and junior years, he decided that a boring internship would not suffice for his summer work. Instead, he decided to start a pizza business with his childhood best friend, Kendall and called it Lynnhurst Pizza Co-op.

Within four nights, business was booming and we were selling more pizzas than anyone imagined, right out of Ryan’s mom’s kitchen! This overwhelming support brought attention from Channel 4 News. However, the news station had to check with the health department before doing the story, and the very next day, we received a note on the door, shutting us down due to a lack of proper licensing in Ryan’s mom’s kitchen.

At that point, we decided to continue throwing “pizza parties” every Friday for the rest of the summer and we ended up “serving” over 1200 pizzas in 10 nights of business.

From there, Ryan and Kendall decided to take the business back to Denver, CO and re-imagined the entire concept as a mobile pizza kitchen for private catering called Mountain Crust. Ole Blue (our first truck) was built and hit the road in the summer of 2016. Since then, we’ve built three more vehicles (Big Red, Baby Blue and Baby Blue 2), purchased our own event venue, and thrown thousands of pizza parties for some truly incredible clients!

We cater everything from graduation parties, birthday parties, corporate parties, and especially weddings. We’re catering about 270 events from April until the beginning of November each year and having a blast at every single one!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
As with any small business, there have been growing pains. Mountain Crust’s success wouldn’t be what it is today without those growing pains though! Catering itself has a very high turnover rate when it comes to staffing, so that was one of the main points of contention early on. Luckily, we’ve built an incredible team that not only wants to return year after year for more pizza parties, but the team has become a true family. We couldn’t do what we do without each and every one of them.

Making it through Covid in 2020 was also a huge bump in the road, as I’m sure any other human being in the world would agree with. We were extremely lucky to be a catering company that revolves around being outdoors though, and we were able to pivot our entire business model to become more of a “food truck” during the lockdown. We set up the truck at private residences for pizza pick-up nights, Thursday through Sunday each week in May 2020. We decided all of the pizza would be “pay what you can” and we put all of the money toward charitable foundations that we’re helping folks throughout the pandemic. We were able to raise enough money to feed 1,000 nurses & frontline workers at local hospitals, as well as over 100 families at a local shelter.

After exhausting the pizza pick-up night option for our company, we were lucky enough that some clients still wanted to pursue their private events, just on a much smaller scale. Because we are always set up outdoors, social distancing at events was easy to maintain and we still served about 60-70 events in the remainder of the 2020 season.

Bouncing back from the strangeness of the 2020 season was a wild rollercoaster too! Many of the vendors and companies in the wedding industry were inundated with rescheduled events and a boom in weddings since folks wanted to party and celebrate so badly in 2021! We took on as many events as possible in the 2021 season which meant we were throwing pizza parties almost every day of the week. It definitely took a toll on our staff, physically and mentally, so we are much more aware of the need for time and space between big event days as our company continues to grow and become more successful.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Mountain Crust is unlike any other catering company in Colorado. We focus on providing wood-fired pizza, fresh salads, seasonal appetizers, and more out of our four custom trucks: Ole Blue is a 1955 Ford F-600 truck, Baby Blue 1 & 2 are state-of-the-art trailers and Big Red is a 1954 Ford Cabover. We pride ourselves on using high-quality ingredients, creating an authentic thin crust, wood-fired pizzas and making sure every guest gets the pizza of their dreams – No one will leave the party unsatisfied!

We live by the tagline, “You bring the people, we bring the party!” Besides offering the best food experience we can at events, we always strive to bring our fun-loving and lively energy to every event. We are not the type of catering company to be seen and not heard – we bring our own speaker with an epic 10hr playlist wherever we go just so we can provide awesome tunes! We love nothing more than interacting with clients and guests at whatever event they may be hosting. After all, it’s truly the people (clients and staff alike) that make this company what it is.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Grace Gatto Red Rock Portrait Design Kristen Piersen Devoted & Wild Photography

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