As the holidays are coming, many people are making a list and checking it twice. For those loved ones who have moved away from their hometown, they often would like a “taste of home” as a gift. We have researched, long and hard, on how to ship Monical’s pizza. So here is the story.
In order for us to ship our Oven-Ready (frozen) pizzas, they have to be manufactured in a USDA-approved facility. To date we haven’t found a manufacturer who can make our pizzas to our standards. We make them in our restaurants and can maintain quality that way, but aren’t able to ship them due to the USDA restriction. We continue to work on this and are making some progress, but don’t yet have a satisfactory solution to the issue.
The biggest challenge to manufacturing the Oven-Ready pizzas on a large scale was the quality. Monical’s dough process requires two days with multiple “hands on” or manual processes. This “handmade” process insures that our doughs (the crust), the heart of our product, maintain the real “Monical’s” texture and taste.
After researching the possibility of producing USDA-approved frozen pizzas ourselves and discovering that it would be cost prohibitive, we began searching for an existing manufacturer. With only one exception every manufacturer we contacted wanted a guarantee of production of units far in excess of our estimates. We first met with this manufacturer in July of 2010 to tour their facility and discuss a potential partnership with them manufacturing our frozen products. After some time spent reviewing and revising a proposed agreement, we were able to begin the production of our first test batch of frozen pizzas in September 2010. Our dough production procedures were quite a bit different than the manufacturer was accustomed to and several modifications to our procedures needed to be made to fit into their production process. Five different product batches were produced in September without achieving the desired crust quality. We continued to work with the manufacturer to achieve our product quality goal. Monical’s started with smaller test batches. 5-10 pizzas went well. So we moved to 50 pizzas. Still successful. However when we made 300 pizzas, the production run uncovered glitches in the process. Because the finished product did not meet our quality standards we decided not to sell the product and instead donated those pizzas to a local food pantry. To date we have not been able to develop a process that will produce the infamous Monical’s crunch, flavor and aroma. And isn’t that what you want? So we will continue to investigate but wanted to be sure our loyal customers knew the “real” story.