Pizza Today - January 2018 - 51

Red Wagon made its debut

on Pizza Today's 2017 Hot 100
Independent Pizzerias list at No. 100
with gross annual sales of nearly
$1.96 million. Campbell says there are
several factors that go into the restaurant
pulling big sales numbers in a small
space. "A concise menu is definitely
a huge element," he adds. "It's really
important to be smart on how you build
that menu. Like we have our Popeye.
It has sausage on it, and then we have
sausage here and here (on the menu). So
there is that economy of scale when you
start prepping out things.
"It's not a massive menu. We have
two fresh pastas. The salads are super,
super simple but delicious, emulsified
on the line to order. The pep rolls are
made ahead of time and just warmed
through in the oven. Bar chips are
French chips that we fry."
The pizza menu features 10 pies, all
14 inches. Campbell's most popular
pizza from his former farmer's
market days became the house Red
Wagon Pizza. It features soppressata
ribbons, banana peppers and sausage
and is finished with chili flakes (that
Campbell says they "buzz" into a dust)
and a fig balsamic drizzle.
The creative pies on the menu
are a prime example of a core Red
Wagon food philosophy. "Just think
if there are no rules and you could do
whatever you want with food and you
can do whatever you want on a pizza."
Red Wagon is a scratch kitchen.
Pies like the Banh Mi and The
Dayton Delmonico demonstrate the
skill and artistry the team puts into
the food. The Banh Mi features
12-hour sweet soy-glazed pork over
cheese and finished with ginger
pickled carrots, radishes, julienne

cucumber, jalapeño, cilantro and a
sriracha aioli. The Dayton Delmonico
is topped with ribeye, au jus, cheese,
roasted red pepper relish and garlic
mashed potatoes and finished
with scallions, crispy potatoes and
Bearnaise sauce.
While pizza is in the name, Red
Wagon is more than a pizzeria. It is
as famous for its pasta, specifically
its Tortellini Alla Panna. The housemade pasta is filled with spinach,
ricotta and lemon and then tossed in
a creamy white wine sauce with peas
and ham.
Campbell sources flour locally and
he also sits on the mill's board, which
provides a collaborative partnership.
"It's a partially whole-grain, organic
local milled flour," he says. "It's a
heritage wheat, so we don't really
scream about that on the menu
because I feel like if you don't want
to sell something on a menu, put it
under healthy options - if you just
make everything a little better, source
it responsibly."
With attention to ingredient
sourcing, food costs stay under
25 percent. "How I built the business
really lends itself to how well we
do with regard to food costs," he
says. "It's seeing the long game and
understanding that relationships
matter. You have to foster those
relationships. You have to respect
those relationships. Figure out a way
so everyone wins."
While Campbell anticipated having
multiple locations when he opened, "I
realized very quickly it's super hard. It
doesn't mean it's not fun and it's not
worth it, but it's super challenging."
Red Wagon has expanded to an
unconventional second location inside

Pryes Brewing with a slightly different
program. The menu is considerably
smaller and pizzas are nine inches.
Cornmeal adds a textural difference.
The operation also has its own staff.
Catering offers a substantial
boost for Red Wagon. "A lot of our

success is attributed to our catering
operation that is also in this," Peter
says. "That is why we invested in that
transit van so we could do more than
one run a day. So originally we would
only do one event a day. We were
doing four events a week, 20 weeks of
the summer. Average events anywhere
from $1,500 to $2,000. We put up
numbers quick with that and it helps
the business."
Catering has been an effective
marketing vehicle. Red Wagon also
markets through social media. A
key to Campbell's social strategies
is mouthwatering and captivating
photography.
In 2016, Red Wagon made national
attention on the Food Network's
Diners, Drive-ins & Dives. "Being so
fortunate to be noticed by the Food
Network to get on that show, it was
just a game changer for us," he says.
"I'm honored to be part of it. And
people see and they see how the food
is made and the level of integrity that
is put into it everyday."
When it comes to marketing,
Campbell applies a simple approach.
"I just believe put the best product
you can out there and see if people
like it. And if people like it, people are
going to talk about it. If people talk
about it, people are going to notice
and want to try it." ■
DENISE GREER is

Today.

associate editor of Pizza

J A N UA R Y 2 0 1 8 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / 5 1


http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - January 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - January 2018

Pizza Today - January 2018
Commentary
Contents
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Man on the Street
Tony’s Trending Recipe
Tony’s Trending Recipe
At Your Service
Destinations
Knead to Know
Road to Pizza Expo
Red Wagon
Pizza Today on the Road: Red Wagon Pizza Co. Minneapolis, Mn
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Mike’s Monthy Tip
Pizza Today - January 2018 - CT1
Pizza Today - January 2018 - CT2
Pizza Today - January 2018 - Pizza Today - January 2018
Pizza Today - January 2018 - Cover2
Pizza Today - January 2018 - Commentary
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 4
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 5
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 6
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 7
Pizza Today - January 2018 - Contents
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 9
Pizza Today - January 2018 - Contributors
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 11
Pizza Today - January 2018 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 13
Pizza Today - January 2018 - Interact
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 15
Pizza Today - January 2018 - Conversation
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 17
Pizza Today - January 2018 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 19
Pizza Today - January 2018 - Tony’s Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 21
Pizza Today - January 2018 - At Your Service
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 23
Pizza Today - January 2018 - Destinations
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 25
Pizza Today - January 2018 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 27
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 28
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 29
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 30
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 31
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 32
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 33
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 34
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 35
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 36
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 37
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 38
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 39
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 40
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 41
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 42
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 43
Pizza Today - January 2018 - Road to Pizza Expo
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 45
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 46
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 47
Pizza Today - January 2018 - Pizza Today on the Road: Red Wagon Pizza Co. Minneapolis, Mn
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 49
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 50
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 51
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 52
Pizza Today - January 2018 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 54
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 55
Pizza Today - January 2018 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 57
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 58
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 59
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 60
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 61
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 62
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 63
Pizza Today - January 2018 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 65
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 66
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 67
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 68
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 69
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 70
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 71
Pizza Today - January 2018 - 72
Pizza Today - January 2018 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - January 2018 - Mike’s Monthy Tip
Pizza Today - January 2018 - Cover3
Pizza Today - January 2018 - Cover4
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