May 11th, 2012
Awesome Food is excited to announce that its eighth micro-grant of $1,000 has been awarded to Kendra and Nathan Stuffelbeam of the The Pie Place, a mobile pizza and sweet pie business based in Sonoma County, California. This project was chosen from among nearly 800 applicants from around the world who have applied for grants from Awesome Food, a chapter of the Awesome Foundation.
Specializing in sourdough pizza and sweet pies using local, seasonal, and organic ingredients, The Pie Place has been in business since July 2011. Funds from the Awesome Food grant will be used to outfit their mobile kitchen with solar panels and batteries so that they can operate without having to use a “noisy, smelly, polluting generator.” This conversion will allow them to be able to offset their carbon footprint and move towards an even more sustainable business practice.
“As an Awesome Food trustee who has been involved in the mobile food business for almost two years now, I am very excited for The Pie Place to be awarded our May Awesome Food grant,” said Eric Silverstein, founder of The Peached Tortilla, a mobile food business based in Austin, Texas. He added, “mobile food continues to be a burgeoning segment of our food industry despite the multitude of inherent operational hurdles. The Pie Place, however, is proving that you can still do business in this segment in an environmentally friendly, eco-conscious way.”
The mission of The Pie Place is “to create food that is both delicious and nutritious, in a way that is sustainable for the earth, for the farmers that grow the food, for us as the creators of the food, and for the consumers of the food,” said owners Kendra and Nathan Stuffelbeam. They prefer to buy direct when possible, and to choose products from companies that reflect their values, even when those products are more expensive. They’ve also made a point to reuse and repurpose items instead of buying new — ranging from the reusable dishware on which they serve their food to the 199os-era stock trailer they’ve converted into their mobile kitchen.
The Pie Place also plans to incorporate an educational component into their business in order to share with young people two important messages: “that it is possible to eat great food that is also good for you, and that it is possible to operate a small business that is profitable as well as ethical and sustainable.” In addition to bringing the mobile kitchen to schools and community events, The Pie Place will be partnering with local nonprofit organizations to create internships to allow students to learn about cooking, business, customer service, and sustainability. Kendra and Nathan are excited to be combining their love of making and sharing food with their commitment to making the world a little more awesome.
Photo credits: Annabelle Ziegenhagen, Nathan Stuffelbeam, and Orin Zyvan.