As the pandemic looms on, it allows for reflection on some of the inspiring food concepts that came about as people sat at home for so long. There were bakeries by the bunches, with folks experimenting with French patisseries to classic bakeshop sweets. Kevin Hamori, on the other hand, dabbled with dough as well but the result wasn’t sweet pies – but savory pizza instead.
With extra time on hand, one of two things are bound to happen – practice or procrastination. Kevin Hamori’s passion for pizza pushed past the latter as he has spent the past few years digging into the art of the humble pizza pie. Would it have been easier to stock up on DiGiorno’s from the freezer section as many did with toilet paper? Of course. For those with tastebuds that would rather not tango with each cardboard slice, there’s great take-out in Denver — Thrillist even made a list. In 2021, Hamori really got his rhythm and ended up making that list right alongside the big dogs.
Hamori’s Get Sauced Pizza serves Arvada with artisanal slices all within the confined of an average home kitchen and garage. The rudimentary oven expertly delivers Detroit-style pizza as if it was housed in a pizza shop. The day-long proofs on his dough make getting the airy finish easy.
His nifty trick to a Neapolitan pie is his Ooni Pizza Oven, which replicates the authenticity of wood-fired without all the construction. He refers to this as neo-Neapolitan as he still tries to get the hang of it. The array of air pockets bubbling in the crust around the edge and the paper-thin layer of dough leading to the middle demonstrate he’s not far off.
Hamori’s passion for pizza was to no surprise as it’s one of America’s favorite comforts, but taking the time to craft it himself took time. His coffee table stacked high with books about the Italian delicacy were not just for show. He dove into each to understand timing, texture and composition. Another crash course came from enrolling in Wood Fired University – where the only topic of concern is how to make the perfect pizza. Three days of thorough training and Hamori had committed to adding another pizza joint to Arvada.
The situation for Hamori to get into the culinary industry was strange; therefore, his model for service is unconventional as well. His major platform for business comes from social media – Instagram to be exact.
“It’s funny how I’ve also become a photographer throughout this because I use Instagram for business,” Hamori said. “So I have to make sure to present each pizza beautifully but also make sure the pictures show that too.”
Instagram acts as his connection to his customers with direct messaging used for taking orders, posts projecting his weekly menu and all the content circling around for publicity. For some time now, people have realized that social media extends beyond connecting with friends but a network for commerce as well.
“I really wasn’t sure how this side hustle was going to work because I couldn’t afford a full restaurant or anything,” he said. “Then I started seeing bakeries do pick-ups from their houses and thought people would do that for pizza too.”
He was right. It’s constantly proven with his Wednesday pick-ups continuing to sell out. Many believe it was Dan DeBarr from Mile High Pizza Pie that paved the way. DeBarr’s at-home business also utilizes Instagram to funnel traffic to its pop-ups and has pick-ups from his house in Erie.
“I’ve become good friends with Dan as he helped me navigate this new business style – and pizza in general,” Hamori says. As he continues to connect with other small business artisans in the neighborhood, it’s an outlet to bounce off new ideas for flavors, marketing and business.
Hamori acts as Clark Kent with his full-time job still around, but on Wednesdays, his pizza powers are activated. His pies change with the season and his connections help him source the best ingredients. In the late summer, folks can savor his peach pie. It features a trifecta of cheese with the iconic mozzarella and Parmigiano–Reggiano. Hamori adds some funkiness with blue cheese to be tamed by the sweetness in the peaches. Then, see-through slices of prosciutto – barely thicker than the basil leaves sitting beside them – get a drizzle of tart balsamic glaze to finish it off. The toppings can switch surfaces but this one primarily stayed on the Detroit-style – as it resembles cold cut Italian sandwich on focaccia bread.
The neo-Neapolitans tend to have fewer ingredients to avoid overpowering the delicate crust beneath – a classic margarita or pepperoni can often be found in rotation. It’s the ideal candidate for a simple personal pie at around 10 inches. As for the third type of pizza he brings to the table – it’s going to be in the middle of the two with a typical East Coast thin crust at 14 inches. Here he can continue to experiment with more ingredient combinations. His East Coast white pie incorporates some color by featuring spinach and grape tomatoes. But the real gem is his dollops of bacon jam – emulating caramelized bacon that has been candied in sugar.
The experimenter in him can’t wait to conjure up more flavor combinations and explore what he can create seasonally. The other piece of this experience that he relishes in has to be the connection to the community. He’s met Detroit transplants looking for a taste of home. He’s brainstorming recipes with other chefs bringing their pop-ups to life. And he’s offering a special treat to those who need it.
“I look forward to what this business brings me in terms of relationships. There are more people than you think creating things like me and I hope we can find a way to get more interconnected in the future,” he said.
Stay connected to Get Sauced via its Instagram. A new menu is released weekly. Use direct message to reserve an order for Wednesday pick-up, which takes place between 3 – 7 p.m.