Do you love to hear great stories about how a business started? Then, I have a good one for you. A couple of my other favorites include Guy Laliberté , the founder of Cirque du Soleil, and how he was turned down by every bank he talked to for a loan he needed to expand his idea. They told him the circus was a dying business and refused to open their minds to his new concept. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is another of my favorites. Jeff borrowed money from his retired parents to start Amazon. They invested a good portion of their nest egg with him because “they believed in their son”. Wow. Talk about pressure to make them some money. Somehow, I don’t think his parents regret that investment. In a few years, if he continues at the current growth rate, Jeff Bezos will soon surpass Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to become the richest man in the world.
One of my most beloved stories, while it may not be on the same financial level as Guy and Jeff’s businesses, is the story of PiZZA Pi. PiZZA Pi is an idea created by Sasha & Tara Bouis. I am sure you are familiar with America’s fascination with food trucks, well imagine a food boat. Yes. A real boat selling pizza that is anchored in a cove you can only reach by boat. They don’t just sell your ordinary pizza, we’re talking delicious gourmet fresh pizza with flavors that make your taste buds orgasm.
I first heard the story of PiZZA Pi when listening to Sasha on a Sail Loot podcast. He details the fabulous story about two people, who later married, looking for something other than corporate careers. They had an idea and never once thought it wouldn’t work. In their words, “PiZZA Pi is a concept dreamt up by a young couple too naive to know it would never work & too stubborn to give up.”
Sasha & Tara spent two and a half years preparing and refitting a boat before they sold their first pizza. They even had to learn how to cook pizza. As Sasha tells the story, it is full of overcoming obstacles to get the business started. Imagine trying to get a health permit from a government agency when you do not have an address.
When I was trapped in the corporate world, listening to a podcast on a plane took me off to places where the plane wasn’t going. I came upon this podcast in 2015 just after we sold our house and were living on the boat full time. We were days away from casting off the dock-lines to go cruising. I told Cindy that if we make it to the Virgin Islands, we should look up the pizza boat. Well, we made it to the USVI and we found it! It’s in Christmas Cove off Great St. James Island.
After a great snorkel in Christmas cove, we took our dinghy over to Pi to order our pizza. We order a half and half. Fresh Margherita (Sliced fresh tomato, mozzarella, house made spinach pesto, feta) and Mango Mami (Tangy mango chutney, red onions, fresh mango, goat cheese & bacon)
They called us on the VHF radio when it was ready and we returned to pick it up. It was awesome!!!!!!
You can check out their web site here: www.pizza-pi.com
Also, here is a great write up from Bloomberg News.