BLACKFOOT– Many people may have seen the Rogue Pizza truck parked at the Oakridge Shell Station on airport road. The owner and operator of the truck is Kyler Anderson. Even though he has been in service for about a month he has had support from the community.
Kyler never imagined owning his own food truck until he came home from the military. "I was just a dumb kid getting into the military, and even though I learned a lot, not something I would do again." Kyler initially started out as an aviation electronics technician who dealt with micro miniatures of aircrafts. "The process was pain. A 'box kicker' would come in and look at the piece that was malfunctioning and see if it was just settled wrong. If it still had trouble we would take it to this other building and run tests. Then if the test turned out there was a short or something, a guy like me would weld in a new tiny piece. At the time they had a ton of guys doing the work and didn't really need me waiting for pieces to break. So they turned me over to marksmanship training. I was there for four years." Just like many of the veterans who return from the military there is a transition period that can be extremely difficult to get through. Kyler and his wife Rebecca decided to take an RV and travel around the country, visiting many place. This time traveling helped combat some of the issues. They found themselves in Portland, Oregon where there is a thriving food truck industry. "I really loved the idea of a food truck. There is a general idea that they don't have to be open all the time, if I need some time to help my family or need to take a day, I can do that in a food truck. It matches what I can work around."
They moved to Blackfoot to be closer to both of their families, "since we have the only grandbabies on both sides." Kyler chuckled. The dream of a food truck continued to grow. Kyler spent numerous hours researching techniques to making dough and pizzas from scratch. "There is a huge pizzaiolo (which can be defined as someone who is a pizza craftsman) community that shares knowledge and their techniques to crafting the perfect pizza." There are a lot of podcasts, Instagram, and YouTube stars who share their knowledge. Some of the more infamous are Fredi the Pizzaman and Scott's Pizza Tours. "I was contacted by Fredi who wanted to interview me on his podcast about my pizza truck. My wife also got kudos for crafting the logo by Scott from Scott's Pizza Tours. It is pretty cool."
For now Kyler is running the truck himself. There is space to have two others working in the truck as well. If there is an increase in traffic and the business is doing really well, he has dreams of opening a brick and mortar store in Blackfoot, and sending a truck to Idaho Falls and Pocatello. He operates a niche type of pizza craftsmanship and fires his pizzas through a homemade pizza oven. The oven burns at 800 to 900 degrees, which is quite different than other pizzerias. Historically, this type of pizza craftsmanship and cooking hearkens back to Italy. When the immigrants came over to New York, they had to find a new way to craft their pizzas because many of the people who would buy their pizza would not eat it right away. Hence, the New York pizza revolution was born.
"My pizzas are considered neapolitan because all of the dough is naturally leavened and not a lot of oil is used. Everything I make is as fresh or as local as we can get it. We even use wood from a local source. People have enjoyed the freshness of the pizza, and don't mind the wait, knowing it is freshly cooked in our wood oven." They are planning on staying open all winter, and in their current spot they have been doing well but are open to the idea of moving to other locations. However, the style of the cart, and the unique oven would require a day's head start and at least a week's engagement.