New Shirley pizzeria a ‘slice of heaven’

New Shirley pizzeria a ‘slice of heaven’

Stoked Wood Fired Pizza opened Sept. 1

Community support, recycled items from the old general store and a heaping portion of help from neighbours are some of the ingredients rolled into a new pizza restaurant in Shirley.

Stoked Wood Fired Pizza, which opened Sept. 1, came to be in part because the volunteer fire chief thought it would do well, said owner Meagan Symington.

She and her partner, Oliver Woods, had recently completed their master’s in environmental development and science in Nova Scotia, and were looking for a change from Halifax.

“Oliver was at a farmers market and saw someone with a portable pizza oven,” explained Symington, who was originally from Vancouver Island.

“We were looking for a change from Halifax, and saw the potential for doing something like that. My dad had a pizzeria when he was in his early 20s and Oliver and I made pizza for friends regularly with good response. We talked about coming back to Vancouver Island and started daydreaming about a little operation we could take to farmers markets.”

The couple began “scouring” Vancouver Island for a place to set up a business.

“We had camped and hiked in Shirley and Jordan River and fell in love with the area, so we started looking at locations with my dad.” she said. That led to a chance encounter with Shirley volunteer Fire Chief Marty Gilbertson, who owns Foggy Mountain Forge. “He told us that’s it a great community, the people are super welcoming and a pizza place would do well.”

They bought the property where the old general store was located and set about turning it into a restaurant. It needed a lot of work. “There was a lot of TLC involved,” said her father Jim Symington.

Gilbertson lent them a backhoe to get the property ready, and stopped by with friends to help install the wood-fired oven, which was imported from California. Gilbertson also assisted with the ironwork and provided a lot of guidance, Meagan said.

“We were overwhelmed by by the amount of people that jumped in to help,” she noted. “There’s too many to list.”

They incorporated wood from the old general store wherever they could and put an emphasis on utilizing recycled items. “We even used some of the fence from the house I grew up in,” Meagan said.

Ornate ironwork and a variety of colours and grains lend a rustic but modern charm to the finished product. Part of the interior also serves as a general store to provide a nearby option for the locals to purchase a few items.

“We’re putting a focus on local products and choosing products that respect the environment,” Meagan said. “We get a lot of our produce from Living the Dream, an organic farm across the street. We want to be a business that engages the local community around us. As the business grows and we get to know the locals, we’ll look for ways to give back to the community.”

“It’s a tight-knit community,” Woods said. “All of the local businesses go out of their way to support each other.”

Business has been better than expected so far, Jim said. “We have people making the journey from Sooke for our pizza,” Jim noted. “That’s a very positive sign.”

Calgary resident Melissa Pasutto, who visits her son in Jordan River regularly, has already become a regular customer. “These guys have a slice of heaven,” she said while waiting for three pies. “The business is well-needed in this area.”



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

New Shirley pizzeria a ‘slice of heaven’

Just Posted

Colin Springford doing what he loved best, tending to his garden. (Linda Matteson photo)
Longtime farmer Colin Springford dies at age 75

‘He will be deeply missed, always loved and never forgotten’

A Seed and Stone rendering for White Rock, B.C. (Seed and Stone rendering)
Songhees Nation to open two Victoria cannabis stores spring 2021

Seed and Stone stores will open on Gordon Street and in the Bay Centre

Saanich has awarded the tender for a youth bike skills park planned for the lot next to the George Tripp BC Hydro Substation off Lochside Drive to Bike Track Ltd. for $242,000. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich selects company to build youth bike skills track at Tripp Station Park

More than $240,000 allotted for Bike Track Ltd. to design bike park

An architectural rendering provides a look at PC Urban’s proposal for three buildings on the former Galaxy Motors property at 1764 Island Hwy. in Colwood. (Rendering courtesy of PC Urban)
Commercial/industrial development planned for former Galaxy Motors site

Colwood proposal goes to public hearing Jan. 25

Members of the Victoria Police Department, some of whom are shown here observing a moment of silence for victims of a mass shooting in Nova Scotia, experience stress and potential trauma more than most other workers, says Chief Const. Del Manak. While the number of shifts lost at VicPD are soaring, he sees it as a sign people are taking their own health and wellness seriously. (Black Press Media file photo)
Skyrocketing number of lost shifts at Victoria police has a positive side, chief says

Chief Const. Del Manak says officers, staff being more proactive looking after their mental health

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Flags line the National Mall towards the Capitol Building as events get underway for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Joe Biden arrives at U.S. Capitol for inauguration

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

The objectives of the Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society include peer support for parents and caregivers, as well as developing support services, projects, educational and employment opportunities for people with Down Syndrome. Photo supplied.
Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society offers support for families in the community

New non-profit seeking directors in cities across Vancouver Island

A memorial for the fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

Sidhu was sentenced almost two years ago to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Updated: Ucluelet paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Most Read