**In celebration of Women’s History Month, I’ll be posting about women in the pizza community every few days this month. The pizza biz is pretty male-dominated, so let’s take this opportunity to throw the spotlight onto some of the women who are doing amazing work in the pizza world.
Jen and Anne met when they were both in the professional cycling industry but quickly turned their attention to more delicious opportunities in pizza. They moved to Fruita, CO in 2002 for its incredible bike trails. What the town boasted in nature, it lacked in dining options so the couple found an available space and built out what has now become an anchor of the community, The Hot Tomato. More than just a pizzeria, The Hot Tomato is a cultural beacon that fosters the community with live music, movie screenings, fun contests, and other amazing events.
I first heard about The Hot Tomato when Jen took the pizza tour a few years back. Miriam was her guide, which is perfect because Miriam is a competitive athlete, so the two talked about bikes and pizza all day long. I was able to meet up with Jen the next day and there was an instant connection. She gave me some rad Hot Tomato bike socks (I commute by bike so that’s perfect!) and this rad sticker that’s still a feature on my tour clipboard. Sometimes I get people on tours who live in Fruita and we instantly bond over The Hot Tomato.
Now I get to see Jen and Anne every year at the International Pizza Expo, where they often host seminars about creating a community based on their pizzeria. We always hang when they’re in NYC but I haven’t made the trip to Fruita just yet. It’s super high on my list and there’s a chance I’ll be out there over the next few months.
Jen and Anne are incredible and completely inspiring. They joined a foreign industry and have crafted a corner of it that’s a complete reflection of their own personalities. Business comes easily when every decision is driven by their commitment to the community. It’s the perfect situation for two people who are as creatively focused as Jen and Anne.
The Hot Tomato
124 N. Mulberry St.
Tues – Sat / 11am – 9pm(ish)
[photo from The Daily Sentinal]