It was a different world when I sat down with Pete Campbell, owner and founder of Red Wagon Pizza. We laughed as we swapped war stories from kitchens all over the U.S. (well, him more than me on that one). I don’t imagine any restaurant owner is laughing much now, but if I took away one thing from my conversation with Pete, it’s that his fire for community and his passion for people will never be extinguished. His food is the vehicle for fostering, as he says, “deeper meaningful connections with people.”
How Red Wagon Pizza came to be
Pizza is in Pete’s blood. He grew up sharing pizza pies around the table with his family every Friday night. He came up through kitchens, including a stint at the beloved St. Paul staple Cosetta’s as a teenager.
In the early 2000s, after college, Pete worked at Sunrise Flour Mill and began to experiment with his pizza dough. He recalls this time as when he realized ‘I have something to say in food.’ Integral to Pete’s philosophy is the belief that food is meant to be shared; thus, the Pizza Party was born.
Pete and his wife Jacquie started Red Wagon at the Linden Hills Farmers Market, cooking in their church basement and serving over 650+ slices of ‘za to their friends and neighbors. It was clear they were onto something, and their farmer’s market stand grew into a mobile restaurant.
They catered parties, auctioned off pizza-making classes, and served up slices at the farmers market. It was clear that Pete and Jacquie had an in-demand product, and a great location. They made the leap, opening their brick and mortar in 2012.
Pete’s Food Philosophy
Pete knows pizza is not a vegetable (despite what Congress thinks). Pizza is good mood food, and, for Pete, good food starts with high-quality ingredients. You can respect food by having high-quality ingredients and still play — with geography, flavor profiles, even toppings!
In Pete’s world, pizza is synonymous with family, and that sentiment has carried over to the experience of sitting down in Red Wagon today. As he says, “in 2012, I got into the people business.” Pete and his Red Wagon family are in constant pursuit of greatness and hospitality. He uses his restaurant to hold space for community and to create happiness.
Red Wagon Pizza Needs YOU!
When Pete and I spoke a few weeks ago, we spent a significant amount of time discussing how he could help me and my business — but now, restaurants like Red Wagon Pizza are the ones who need our help. You can buy a gift card here or order zero-contact takeout from their South Minneapolis location.
About the Author: Agency Director Allison Wasz is a holistic thinker and digital marketing expert through and through. She lives and breathes digital — strategy, social media, paid search, user experience, and content generation are part of her day-to-day. Allison’s drive to understand the ‘why’ behind every action makes her well-suited to helping businesses of all sizes and across all industries develop and implement their digital marketing strategies. She believes in an educational approach to digital strategy, empowering clients to grasp how digital works in tandem with traditional marketing. Allison is a coffee drinker, part-time yogi, and red wine aficionado who spends her free time eating guacamole and patiently waiting for the next George R.R. Martin book.