Zombies are roaming the streets around Charleston, and depending on the day, one of those zombies may be rolling into your neighborhood. Watch out. Epic pizza is on its way.
Zombie Bob’s offers made-to-order custom pizzas, calzones, breadsticks and snacks baked fresh from the confines of a super-efficient (and very hot!) food truck. Check out the menu. The secret to their great taste is in the beer-infused sourdough crust, and I’m told they may rely on a healthy dose of Holy City Brewing’s Pluff Mud Porter to enhance flavor. (I might have to try a few more slices to be sure!)
Like many trendy restaurants with changing daily menus, Zombie Bob’s updates Facebook to let its fan following know the day’s locations. I caught up with the guys at Frothy Beard Brewing Company in North Charleston, where brewery patrons could sidle over for a few slices with their pints.
Meet the Zombies
Zombie Bob’s Food Truck is the creation of Ryan Dedrickson and Morgan Hallman, longtime friends who paid their way through school working in the food and beverage industry. Hallman graduated with a degree in psychology from College of Charleston, and Dedrickson with a BFA in Film/Video from Savannah College of Art and Design.
Hard work may be in their blood, but great food fuels their heart. Opening a restaurant “was a dream. In late 2011, we started talking about having our own place. Realistically it was a long shot. Financially, it would be tough. But after running through several ideas and being extremely frustrated, a friend of ours suggested a food truck.” The idea clicked. “We brainstormed, did a ton of research and just started with step one.”
Even with 30 years of experience between them, Dedrickson and Hallman took their time to enable a formula for success. After collaborating with Sumner Douglas at VC Plans, their business plan came together.
Careful financial and space planning fortified their vision for the mobile restaurant. At first people questioned the sensibility of a pizza food truck, but financing came through. The Zombie Bob’s pizza truck was custom made to their exacting specs by Pizza Trucks of Canada.
“Packing a pizza kitchen into a small place was a little worrisome at first,” Dedrickson recalls. “Steve and his crew in Canada worked with us for 2 years prior to actually starting the truck build once financing was in place.”
After picking up their restaurant on wheels in North Dakota, the adventure was on. With approval from local agencies, “The first month out we were still tweaking a few things and learning to work around each other, but we eventually got into a groove with it.”
The business has only one employee, “so it’s just the 3 of us all the time. We have to give a shout out to Pilot (yes his name is Pilot) for standing right next to us throughout this whole thing,” Dedrickson says.
Have the tight quarters, 100 hour work weeks, and extreme kitchen heat been worth it for Zombie Bob’s? Absolutely. “We just love everything about it. There isn’t a day we wake up and don’t want to go to work.”
Fans drive across town to get their fix of Zombie Bob’s pizza. “We’ve had such a great response and met so many amazing people that it’s hard to have a bad day. Last week a guy drove 40 minutes out of his way to bring his young son out to see the truck and grab a few slices. They sat in the parking lot eating their slices after taking pictures of themselves in front of the truck. That was really cool.”
If you’re wondering about the taste, you’ll just have to try a slice for yourself. The pizza is hearty, rich, and flavorful, and the crust is crunchy good. If I lived in Charleston, I just might be eating one tonight.
As the guys say, “Our mission is simple. Serve epic pizza. Charge a fair price. Make customers happy. Give back to the community.”