By Stephanie Hess
Peyton Smith will have a lot of pizzas to make. Friday, August 30 marked the closing of a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds which will enable Forno Moto, an award-winning mobile pizza company, to build a restaurant on Trade Street in downtown Winston-Salem. The campaign asked for backers to support the purchase and installation of a one-of-a-kind brick “Ferrari of pizza ovens” handmade in Naples, Italy. The promise of the best pizza in the world emerging from this oven was enough to inspire nearly 200 backers, helping Forno Moto surpass their goal by more than 10 percent.
“I think the same reasons that Forno Moto, and the story behind it, resonates with people is the same reason my campaign appealed to the Kickstarter audience,” says Smith, who created Forno Moto as an acclaimed food truck in 2010. “I am driven not only to make great pizza, but elevate the standard. I can only guess that my passion and transparency appeals to people.”
The restaurant will feature the napoletana-style pizza that earned Forno Moto the distinction of Best Food Truck in Winston-Salem. A tradition born in Naples, Italy centuries ago, pizza napoletana is simply a great piece of bread topped with high-quality ingredients, and baked in a wood-burning oven at a very high temperature.
Smith plans to create a restaurant that will introduce local, seasonal, and handmade pizza to the eclectic mix and vital community already present in downtown Winston-Salem – and telling his story on Kickstarter plays an important role in that. “For me, more than anything, a restaurant is a community,” Smith explains. “Sure we sell food, but more than that, a proper restaurant is a convivial place that provides camaraderie, fellowship, hospitality. I felt that Kickstarter was the perfect vehicle for us to broaden the community that will define us as a restaurant, and to give our backers a stake in what we are doing. I wanted to give people the opportunity to say ‘I helped buy that oven,’ to have the chance to be a part of a larger whole, and to help bring something new and innovative to Winston-Salem.”
Smith tells CCD that using Kickstarter allowed him an outlet to grow the brand and build buzz and anticipation for the restaurant, and to raise capital at a time when the need is the greatest. “However, the driving desire for me to launch a Kickstarter campaign was the people–clients, customers, friends, and strangers–who have supported me the past 6 years in my mission to create this restaurant,” says Smith. “I continue to be amazed and humbled by how much my drive and persistence, and of course the product and the process, resonates with people, and how much they care about what I’m doing.”
Construction on the restaurant is well under way, and barring complications, they are aiming at a September opening – and looking forward to meeting backers and rewarding them with pizza. To follow the progress visit HERE.