Few jobs have the appeal or wardrobe requirements of a driver for Uptown’s Galactic Pizza.
“You have to be willing to wear spandex, first of all,” said Andy McMorrow, 23, an outer-worldly deliveryman who goes by pseudonym The Flying Squirrel. “And you have to have a motorcycle license, be interested in the environment, be willing to wave to people and talk to kids.”
Because owner Pete Bonahoom, 30, doesn’t advertise, he relies on his delivery personnel to catch the attention of others by driving three-wheeled, egg-like “Gizmos.” He also has drivers dress as individualistic “superheroes.”
“I think just the overall allure of the place (is) all the superheroes delivering the pizzas, good ingredients; all those combined is what brings people to it,” Bonahoom said.
The business is a result of an epiphany Bonahoom had four years ago. Far from a pizza kitchen, he was explaining 401ks and piecing together retirement plans at Piper Jaffray in Downtown.
Now 30, the Whittier resident owns Galactic Pizza — perhaps the Twin Cities’ most environmentally friendly and socially conscious pizza joint. The business, at 2917 Lyndale Ave. S., is best known for its enigmatic delivery personnel, who have cruised around Southwest at 30 mph delivering “pizza with a conscience” since June 28, 2004.
But the recognizable cars — run on electricity — are nearing the end of their five-year lifespan, Bonahoom said. The upkeep, he said, is fast becoming more effort than he anticipated. A possible replacement — no surprise — would be a full-size electric car.
“This summer I’m planning on purchasing an electric car, and testing it,” Bonahoom said. “And if it works well, I’ll be replacing the vehicles. I’m gonna try to find an interesting vehicle that solves environmental problems, but it’s going to look a little different.”
Being a little different just begins to describe his business model.
“I wrote my business plan and came pretty close to my projections,” he said of the businesses’ spontaneous, yet successful run. “I’m not a millionaire or anything, but that’s not the point.”
The point: Serve great pizza while remaining a socially responsible business.
“We measure business success by social benefit, not just by profit,” he said.
2917 Lyndale Ave. S.