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10 East Main Street Turlock, Ca, 95380
*Here's an article recently run in a local paper about our catering business*
Don’t look now but there’s a unique new mobile food caterer operating in Turlock – a traveling pizza oven on wheels! Derek Walker has been busy churning out made-to-order New York style pizzas in his brand new custom-made, wood-fired brick oven at Wellington’s Pub & Restaurant in downtown Turlock as well as local markets and festivals. In the few short weeks since his pizza trailer hit the road, it’s already created an extensive buzz by delighting restaurant patrons on various nights and many of those who attended the Sept. 10 grand reopening of the city’s newly restored Carnegie Arts Center.
The Carnegie rededication constituted Walker’s shake-down cruise as he was gearing up to begin catering private parties, family picnics, reunions, weddings, birthdays and any other suitable event. He’s signed up to make his out-of-town debut Oct. 8-9 at the Riverbank Wine and Cheese Expo.
For the time being, however, the 33-year-old budding pizza baron’s creating a big stir at Wellingtons on Monday nights between 5 and 9 o’clock with pizzas that he personally guarantees are among the best people will ever eat. In fact, he’s so confident people will absolutely love his pizzas that he has a standing offer to refund every penny anyone pays for one of his pies if they don’t – no questions asked.
Walker’s traveling pizza oven turns the heads of pedestrians and motorists where ever he goes with it in tow behind his pickup truck. To some, it may look like a peculiar steam-age contraption due to its prominent domed concrete-topped mound with a stovepipe protruding out of the top. But when he pulls to a stop and feeds almond logs into the hearth to make a roaring fire, it’s clear that his creation is a lot more fun and practical than it is bizarre.
“Every pizza we make is done completely from scratch,” Walker said. “That includes everything from the dough to the various sauces that go on them. Unlike many chain pizza restaurants, we don’t add butter or oil to our dough so the pizzas are a healthy alternative to what people can get at many fast-food restaurants and taco trucks.”
Walker has managed the evening operations of his parent’s popular downtown pub and eatery since it opened in 1999. He came up with what he described as the “crazy idea” starting a mobile pizza business after friends and family raved about the pizzas he turned out in a similar but permanent wood-fired oven he built in the backyard of his Denair home. “Everyone was saying my pizzas were so good that I should start selling them to the world,” he mused. ”I figured that if I was going to make and sell pizzas it would make more sense and provide a fun and unique experience compared to the mundane BBQ tri-tip and chicken options chosen by a majority of event planners.
“So far the response has been incredible. People not only love the pizzas, but many are fascinated by the concept of a mobile pizza oven – especially one that is wood-fired. It’s one of a very few in existence and quite a showpiece.”
For the time being, Walker is also plying his culinary baking skills outside Wellingtons late Thursday, Friday and Saturdays after the restaurant’s kitchen closes at 9 p.m. For one thing, it provides another means of introducing the traveling pizza wagon to the public.
“We’re firing up the oven later in the evenings and serving between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. for the convenience of our regular patrons and anyone else who’s looking for something good to eat after most restaurants have closed for the night.”
Walker is trying to make it as easy as possible for both drive-thru, take home orders or adults who prefer to come into the pub to have a cold beer, cocktail or glass of wine with their pizzas. Once assembled, the baking time in the super heated 1,000-degree oven is only two or three minutes. Customers who want their pizzas waiting for them can order their pizzas in advance by calling Wellingtons at 668-8729.
To inquire about catering a private party or event, email firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.facebook.com/travelingpizza. Callers can also contact Wellington Station at 668-8729 between 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Wellingtons is located at 10 E. Main Street at the corner of Main and Golden State Boulevard adjacent to the Turlock Chamber of Commerce office in Central Park.