Audacity Pizza: ‘It’s more than just food’
Audacity Pizza, the new shop that opened up inside the Warehouse Food Hall this month, is a pizza place with a unique spin.
Audacity launched with a soft opening in February, and owner Gypsy “Josh” Sol has been working the past few weeks on getting everything up and running. Sol said that since opening, some days have been busier than others, but so far, the new eatery is off to a good start.
“It’s a comfort food,” Sol said of why he chose to open a pizza place. “Everybody loves pizza. It’s something they are comfortable with.”
But there is more than meets the eye with Audacity because Sol also wants to push people’s boundaries a little bit and help them to try out new flavors by putting all kinds of wild ingredients on the pizzas.
“It’s a comfort food, but I also want to challenge people’s ways of thinking and help get them out of their comfort zone,” Sol said.
All of the Audacity pizzas are smaller, Neapolitan-style pizzas that are served on a charcuterie board. The idea behind it is that people can get together and share different flavors of pizza over conversation.
“It’s all about conversation, connection and community,” said Sol, who comes from a background of working in mental health and helping services.
The menu is split into different sections with the “safety first” pizzas dressed with more familiar ingredients and flavor profiles.
The safe pies include a margarita, veggie, supreme, chicken pesto Alfredo, chicken bacon ranch, buffalo and a “Life Grows Wild” mushroom and gorgonzola pizza, which Sol said uses simple ingredients that compliment each other.
But even in the safety first section, the “PB and J,” which stands for pineapple, bacon and jalapeno, uses a familiar word play to introduce a spicier combination.
The “bold jumps” section has crazier combinations and things not normally seen on a pizza, Sol said. Some of these signature pies have an interplay between cooked and fresh ingredients, like the El Senor, which is a taco base topped with lettuce, tomato, sour cream and scallions. The Bang’n Bacon Burger has all the fixings of a good old fashioned burger but atop a pizza palette.
“People who trust and take that jump to try one of my crazy pizzas, I’m glad,” Sol said. “I can see someone get out of their comfort zone in a small way.”
Sol said that his own way of thinking about flavors and topping pairings is growing, and he spends time online looking for new flavor profiles, as well as learning from other Warehouse vendors.
“I really like the farm-to-table concept,” Sol said, adding that he gets his milk and eggs from local producers and is always looking at other ways he can source ingredients within the community. The newly installed sign for the Warehouse was created by a local sign shop.
“If it’s something created by the community, for the community, how can it fail?” said Sol.
Audacity currently has four helping hands including Sol. Ashley Watson, who works as a nurse for her full-time job, spends some of her free time helping out behind the pizza counter. She said that it’s a good opportunity to aid a friend.
With the array of ingredients used on Audacity’s pies, there is a lot of prep work that needs to happen in the mornings. Sol is hoping to soon hire additional staff members to work the kitchen mornings and weekends.
Coming from a background working with mental health organizations and people in recovery from substance use disorders, Sol said he believes in second chances, and that is a part of what he wants to do with the business — whether it is through employment or simply by giving people in the community a warm space where they can gather over some good food.
“It’s great we have wings, pizza and burgers,” Sol said. “Everyone can satisfy their appetite.”
The hope is to create a sort of home away from home, where community members can come and get family dinner and have game nights.
“Everything is better in community and fellowship,” Sol said. “We can all bring something to the table.”
Sol is beginning to put the word out that Audacity can cater for events or activities put on by local nonprofits, and he said he wants to help the community in any way he can.
“It’s not about the money,” Sol said. “If I could cook free pizza for everyone, I would do it.”
Audacity is doing specials throughout the week to support health care workers, while Tuesdays feature half-priced pies for kids and Fridays are family nights with deals for orders of multiple pizzas. Sol said that on Sundays, the shop will serve pizzas for take-out only.
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