Sourdough Pizza Company owners moving to New York, looking for buyer
Sourdough Pizza Company, a mobile brick-oven pizzeria based in Forest, Virginia, is looking for a new owner, as current owners Zac and Megan Kolegue are planning to move to New York to be closer to extended family.
“The goal is to keep the business here, and somebody could operate it here, … and I think it will do fairly well, and then we’ll go to New York and start another brand,” Zac Kolegue, a 2007 Liberty University graduate, said. “I love doing this. I’m not leaving it. I’m going to New York and doing the same thing. Hopefully, it can be as successful as it is here for us.”
The Kolegues started Sourdough Pizza Company in 2012 but did not pursue it full time until 2018. At first, they made pizzas at festivals and backyard events. Now, the pizza company, which is run out of a 12-foot trailer, resides in the lot connected to Aylor’s Farm and Garden on Forest Road, which houses other local food trucks, including Rookies and the Wandering Donut.
Zac Kolegue mentioned several qualities a buyer must possess in order to successfully handle the pizza company.
“You certainly have to love pizza — that’s the number one requirement,” Zac Kolegue said. “If you don’t love food, it’s a bad idea.”
He also said the buyer needs to be a “people person” and have the ability to multitask, as the owner will be making pizza and interacting with customers simultaneously.
The Kolegues will also offer six weeks of training to the buyer, which will teach them how to make sourdough, care for the equipment, order supplies and more.
(When they leave), there will be a pizza-sized hole in my heart.Luke Hardee
“I don’t necessarily have an owner’s manual. It’s kind of a hands-on experience, and you have the opportunity to gain that experience before you get out there on your own,” Zac Kolegue said.
In order to handle the business, Kolegue said the buyer will need to make about 1,000 pizzas to practice.
If the Kolegues do not find a buyer, they have two backup plans.
“We’ll find someone who wants to operate the business, and we’ll leave them in charge of running the business and actually being here, say, 80 percent of the time,” Zac Kolegue said. “Or, (we will) just take everything and go to New York and use the same brand there we’re using here.”
Luke Hardee, a loyal Sourdough customer and friend of the Kolegues, said he will miss having his friends operating the business, but he thinks the buyers will be able to continue the Kolegues legacy.
“(When they leave) there will be a pizza-sized hole in my heart,” Hardee said. “I hope that (the buyer) will be able to put the same care and attention into the pizzas I know (the Kolegues) do currently. With the same facilities and recipes, they would be able to replicate what Zac has brought to it.”
Sourdough Pizza Company uses real sourdough crust, taking anywhere from 24 to 72 hours to make from authentic sourdough starter. Kolegue explained many sourdough breads purchased at grocery stores or restaurants are made with a commercial starter, which replicates the flavor of sourdough without the time commitment of authentic sourdough starter. Additionally, the pizzas are woodfired in 90 seconds in an 800 degree oven on the trailer.
“The sourdough crust that they make is just a unique aspect of their pizza that nowhere else around here has, and it just gives the pizza a distinct flavor,” Hardee, who claims he dines at Sourdough almost daily, said. “And then also the way they cook it in the brick oven gives it a flavor and crispiness that is just unmatched.”
While the Kolegues love their business, Lynchburg and their customers, Zac Kolegue explained family is their priority.
“Lynchburg has been really good to our family. We do really love it here,” Zac Kolegue said. “It’s been a really awesome place where we started our family, and we’ll never forget it. It definitely has a little piece of our heart. We’re definitely going it miss it, but family definitely has to take priority.”
Zac Kolegue said interested parties can reach out to him via email — firstname.lastname@example.org.