Pizza Today - August 2020 - 44

by opening that first restaurant in Oak
Hill."
The leap paid off as eager customers
lined the block on opening day and the
location continued to thrive. A North
Campus location followed in 2016 and
a restaurant in East Austin in 2018.
The trailers still focus on pizza, while
the restaurants offer a full menu and
bar.
"When I look back onto what we've
been through in the almost 10 years
since we started, I feel like we rose up
to meet demand," Zane says. "We did
it really organically. We did work hard
at it, but we also got lucky. A lot of this
that has happened is being in the right
place at the right time honestly."
Success often blends fortitude and
good fortune. Via 313 is culmination
of the fruition of the brothers' dream;
a tenacious work ethic; strong business
sense; a lead, not follow mentality,
people-focused values and a little bit
of luck.

PIZZERIA
OF THE YEAR

B

randon and Zane Hunt are humble and soft
spoken when talking about their multi-milliondollar pizza company, Via 313 in Austin, Texas.

"We just serve good
pizza and try to take care of
people," Zane says.
The Hunt brothers have
amassed an incredible
following in Austin and
beyond for the Detroit pizza
they perfected 10 years ago,
at a time when the only likely
place you could find Detroitstyle pizza was in the Motor
City. With three brick-andmortar locations and two
permanently placed pizza
trailers, Via 313 crushes
annual sales at more than
$12 million and consistently
ranks as one of the hottest
pizzerias in the country. This
year, Via 313 receives a new

distinction as Pizza Today's
2020 Pizzeria of the Year.
Rising up from a rough
childhood in Detroit, the two
self-made entrepreneurs took
an idea to recreate the pizza
they loved as kids and open
a neighborhood pizzeria.
After relocating to the Lone
Star State, the two pulled the
trigger on the first trailer in
downtown Austin in 2011
and before the year was up,
they added a second trailer.
When it came time to
open the first brick-andmortar location, the brothers
had done all the legwork to
launch a new spot, but they
needed a little motivational

4 4 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / A U G U S T 2 0 2 0

push from industry greats
like the late Big Dave
Ostrander and Tony
Gemignani to put the plan
into motion. The brothers
opened their first sit-down
restaurant in the Oak Hill
neighborhood in 2015.
"I think that when we
opened the restaurant down
in Oak Hill, we already had
this positive momentum and
there is already this yearning
for a different option, maybe
a downtown brand per se at
that time to open in their
neighborhood," Zane says.
"So now we are in this family
neighborhood. At the time,
we feel like we took a chance

Authenticity
Brandon and Zane built the Via 313
concept around themselves. "That was
the whole point of starting the business
to be a bigger thing, an extension of us,
whether it be the black building or the
music that is playing, the pictures on
the wall," Brandon says. "It's all curated
of who we are, that's for sure."
The stores and trailers are designed
to be gritty in the best possible
way. Each location is polished but
intentionally made to look like the
pizzeria has been there for 30 years.
"That's really what we wanted to do
is open a pizzeria in the classic sense,
very old fashioned, full service, pitcher
of beer after softball or soccer, that
whole thing with kids and families,"
Zane says.
The concept was built to center
around the pizza, that signature
rectangular pie with sauce on top and
caramelized edges. Moreover, it's about
creating a sensory experience. "There
was shit that we ate when we were
kids that tasted a certain way, that we
had memories to and we tried to get as
close to that as possible," Brandon says.
"You know when you eat a pepperoni


http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - August 2020

Pizza Today - August 2020
Commentary
Digital
Conversation
Mike’s Monthly Tip
Man on the Street
Building Blocks
Tony’s Trending Recipe
Knead to Know
Destinations
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Expo Spotlight
Improving Ticket Times
Employee Handbook Revamp
Scratch Dressings
Menu Refit
Pizza Today - August 2020 - CT1
Pizza Today - August 2020 - CT2
Pizza Today - August 2020 - Pizza Today - August 2020
Pizza Today - August 2020 - Cover2
Pizza Today - August 2020 - Commentary
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 4
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 5
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 6
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 7
Pizza Today - August 2020 - Digital
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 9
Pizza Today - August 2020 - Conversation
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 11
Pizza Today - August 2020 - Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 13
Pizza Today - August 2020 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 15
Pizza Today - August 2020 - Building Blocks
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 17
Pizza Today - August 2020 - Tony’s Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 19
Pizza Today - August 2020 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 21
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 22
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 23
Pizza Today - August 2020 - Destinations
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 25
Pizza Today - August 2020 - Improving Ticket Times
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 27
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 28
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 29
Pizza Today - August 2020 - Employee Handbook Revamp
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 31
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 32
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 33
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 34
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 35
Pizza Today - August 2020 - Scratch Dressings
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 37
Pizza Today - August 2020 - Menu Refit
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 39
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 40
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 41
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 42
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 43
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 44
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 45
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 46
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 47
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 48
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 49
Pizza Today - August 2020 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 51
Pizza Today - August 2020 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 53
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 54
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 55
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 56
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 57
Pizza Today - August 2020 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 59
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 60
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 61
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 62
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 63
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 64
Pizza Today - August 2020 - 65
Pizza Today - August 2020 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - August 2020 - Cover3
Pizza Today - August 2020 - Cover4
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