The roots of Cottonwood extend back 25 years to my first job, at Wilton Pizza & Pasta in Wilton, Connecticut. During high school and summers home from college in Upstate New York, I spent afternoons and evenings making pizza with people who remain friends and pizza mentors to this day. I thrilled at the pace of a pizza kitchen and the social interaction with restaurant customers. I studied the pizza business at the knees of the Criscuolo brothers and talked futbol with the Brazilian chefs who ran the kitchen and the ovens. And then...I went to law school (sad face).
But pizza stuck with me throughout my office-based life. I reminisced about the pizza restaurant and talked often of opening a restaurant with my wife, Aimee, and our friends as we perfected dough recipes at home. Then, in the Summer of 2017 at a party in Rockland, Maine, The Uproot Pie Co. backed its trailer-based wood fired pizza oven into the driveway and that was the beginning of the end of my office life.
I spent months researching how to build a wood fired pizza oven on a trailer. That's actually not true - I spent 2 hours before realizing that "building a wood fired pizza oven on a trailer" was not in my repertoire. So, instead, I started searching for companies that made mobile wood fired ovens. There are a handful, but none like Maine Wood Heat Co. and I'm thankful to the Barden family and everyone at MWH for their engineering and art in building my oven (whose name is Mary Anne, in case you were wondering).
Many thanks to Jessica at The Uproot Pie Co. for her mobile pizza business mentorship, to Jessica (a different Jessica) and Steve for the pizza love we share together, and above all to Aimee, the love of my life, for...everything.