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Local Vendor Spotlight: Bola Pizza

We’ve been carrying Bola Pizza here at Wheatsville since July 2012. Jamie Bowers, co-owner of Bola Pizza with her partner Christian Bowers, talked to us about their business.

1. What inspired you to make pizza and how long did it take for your business to take off?

We started having pizza parties at our house when our friends started getting married and having kids. It was a good way to get people together. It was even more fun when Christian started inviting some food bloggers he knew. We were invited to do the Green Corn Project Fall Festival that year (2010) and that was our real start. We were invited to the Susutainable Food Center’s Downtown farmers market and started catering. Frozen pizzas were launched by persistent customer demand—thank you for the persistence!!! We weren’t sure about doing a frozen pizza at first because they’re not known to be very good. The frozen pizzas are still in the process of taking off. We are a super small company, but growing every year. This is probably the first year frozen pizzas are self sustaining.

2. What are some of your favorite things at Wheatsville?

We love the range of local products, especially eggs, cheese, fresh produce. I love to look through the personal and household sections. Wheatsville always has so many unique and beautiful things. I’m also addicted to the southern fried tofu!

3. Do you have anything new in the works that you would like to share with our patrons?

We are working on developing two new pizza flavors. We have also had requests for a frozen or refrigerated bread product that we are testing.

4. What is behind the name Bola and is there a story?

I got my first dog, Bola, from the Williamson county shelter when I was 19. I like to say we grew up together. I started making pizzas around the same time. Later, when I was in school at UT, I hosted pizza parties. My friends spoiled him feeding him the crusts (aka pizza bones). Years passed, then Christian and I decided to relaunch the pizza parties at our house. We used his special dough recipe and Bola was just as spoiled by our guests. Bola loved his pizza crusts and all the attention he would get at parties. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it to the founding of our pizza business, so we named it after him.

5. Is there is anything else you’’d like to share with our owners?

Christian came up with our three day cold fermented dough recipe because it tastes so good. I learned later from a nutritionist that it’s also very good for you. As the structure of the dough is developing, it is are also breaking down the gluten in the flour. So it’s much lower in gluten than a standard bread or pizza crust. The process also starts to break down the flour itself which allows your body to process the protein in it. Not being able to digest the wheat protein is what causes gluten intolerance. Flour quality is a big issue as well. We use King Arthur which has no bleach, no bromate and is non-GMO. King Arthur farmers are not allowed to spray Round Up on their crops as is standard practice with most of the wheat industry. We are committed to using the highest quality ingredients. Our other suppliers are: Andrew & Everett, Bel Gioso, Applegate, Niman Ranch, Kitchen Pride and organic crushed tomatoes from California.