A large pizza bus built by a BYU graduate and a UVU student roams the streets of Utah Valley carrying a surprisingly large brick oven.
BYU graduate David Ludwig and UVU student Allan Stokes run the new Pompeii Pizza bus they built.
They first started a pizza trailer in the small town of Blanding four hours southeast of Provo. Inside the trailer was a small brick oven that could cook two to three pizzas at a time. Blanding’s small population of about 5,000 people absolutely loved it, according to Stokes.
“The idea started because we love sharing food,” Stokes said. “We love pizza, and we love cooking it.”
Ludwig recognized the need for expansion after the duo’s initial success.
“I got thinking we should make it bigger,” Ludwig said. “We wanted to be able to make a lot more than just a few pizzas at a time.”
Ludwig and Stokes got to work finding a food truck large enough to contain their big plans. They heard the Moab School District was getting a new fleet of new school buses and was selling its older buses.
“We bought a bus and got to work ripping out the seats, building counters and of course building the large brick oven,” Stokes said.
The earth oven took over a month to complete. Most of the oven was made from succor mold and filled with cement.
“Not only was I inside the bus making an oven, but also I had to be inside the oven half of the time to make it,” Ludwig said.
The oven can now bake eight pizzas at one time, and pizzas take fewer than four minutes to make and cook.
The Pompeii Pizza bus is not yet open for service even though the bus is up and running. The owners must get a license for their mobile food business before they can start selling. They also must receive permission to park from parking lot owners, or park in food-mobile city-permitted limits.
“We are in the process of receiving our permit, so if we were to start selling now it would be a $500 fine,” Ludwig said.
While waiting for their permit, Ludwig and Stokes have been delivering samples of their pizza in various locations to get people excited once they start.
The Facebook page Pompeii Pizza will be the go-to place to find out planned locations and where the bus will be located each week.