What’s New at the Market: Hand-made authenticity from Ulivo Pizzeria

It’s hard to believe two whole market seasons have progressed since Clallam County first met Andrea and Megan Mingiano as they brought their authentic Italian, handcrafted, stone-fired pizza to the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market as Ulivo Pizzeria.

The third-generation pizzaiolo (a chef specializing in making pizzas) and his wife have stolen the hearts of Sequim as a farmers market mainstay.

But what’s the latest from Ulivo in 2021? One priority for the duo has been maintaining and deepening the authenticity of their offerings.

“We have a slicer in our kitchen now. So, we can import authentic large legs or deli meats and offer that on our pizzas,” Andrea says.

“It’s fresher, better quality. We were able to get twenty-four-month aged Prosciutto di Parma DOP straight from Italy and slice it fresh ourselves.”

The duo has also expanded staffing operations with the addition of two new employees.

“We started to realize that we couldn’t do it just the two of us anymore. Adding staff helped lessen the wait time for people, so that we could have pizzas ready faster,” Megan says.

“It also allowed us to be able to give more time to connect with customers. It’s made the market experience so much better.”

Not untouched by the supply chain disruptions that so many restaurants faced in 2021, Ulivo Pizzeria has made creative pivots to continue providing the pizza the community has come to know and love.

“Everything this year has increased in price when it comes to supplies,” Megan says. “There’s always the option to skimp on quality to stay at a certain price point. But the quality of the final product, and the ingredients itself, were something that was immovable for us. It was never something we’d cut a corner on.”

Adds Andrea, “Whether it’s local or finely imported, we choose it because we believe in the food that we make. We believe in creating a quality pizza that meets our high standards.”

As word began to spread about Ulivo Pizzeria, a Sequim local would be hard pressed to encounter someone who hadn’t heard of the market restaurant and catering business. The Mingianos say they’re thrilled to live up to people’s expectations.

“We recognize that it’s a privilege, but also a responsibility because people are starting to rely on you,” Andrea says. “You have a certain name you’re building, and you have to live up to that name. It can actually be a bit scary, but when you do what you really love, it’s a very pleasurable journey.”

The Mingianos share that they’ve garnered the support of all sorts of Sequimmites, ranging from globe-trotting gastronomes to those that, born-and-raised here, have always called the area home.

“We see a lot of folks who have part of their heart in the city and part of their heart in the countryside,” Megan says. “They love the authentic, good quality food in the cities but they also love being rural and having things that are local.

“But then a comment we’ll hear from long-time locals is, ‘This is great! I don’t have to go to Italy, I can have great pizza here in Sequim!

It’s true that Ulivo Pizzeria aficionados come from every walk of life and the Mingianos say that the farmers market has turned out to be a perfect venue for sharing their pizza with the community.

“Our customers are quick to ask us what ingredients are in our pizza, they really care about putting something good in their bodies,” Megan says. “I think those are the same people who want to buy local, fresh fruits and vegetables at the market. They really care about what they’re consuming.”

Food truck on the way

As the Mingianos continue to streamline operations, they are now directing their energy towards building the first Ulivo Pizzeria food truck, with support from local contributions.

“We were able to get a loan from Craft3, a local community lender right out of Port Angeles,” Andrea says.

In its final stages of completion, the food truck has been constructed by Washington based food truck builders and local woodworkers. Andrea shares that he’s especially excited for one important and very personal detail.

“I really wanted to find an oven that not only did its job but that was authentic. It was an honor finding an Italian company in California that makes the same type of ovens that I grew up with, brick-by-brick,” Andrea says. “It’s a 3,000-pound oven built by Italians, the same way my dad builds ovens.”

The Mingianos say they hope that the food truck will help to increase customer access to their offerings throughout the week.

“We wanted to build the food truck as a means of consistency for our customers, so we’re not just a warm weather staple,” Megan says. “It’ll allow us to be open when it’s windy and rainy, things we currently can’t handle. We’re excited to be able to be here year-round.”

Ulivo Pizzeria says they plan to open on fixed, select weekdays in repeating local locations throughout Sequim, to be announced soon. However, market guests can still look forward to seeing them at the farmers market every Saturday, May through October.

“We’ve been having a blast at the market,” Andrea says. “It’s really increased in size. We have noticed a huge difference in the people that come to the market. You see a lot more younger people now, as well as other locals that might not have ever been to the market before. Even when we’re not vending, we still attend as guests. We love it.”

The Minganios say they are grateful to their customers that show up in support, week-after-week.

“They’re very loyal to us. We appreciate that and don’t take it for granted,” Andrea says. “The market has given us a lot of visibility, which has really given us an opportunity.”

“Even with our catering events, they’ve come from a lot of people who first saw us at the market,” says Megan. “So much of the success we’ve had outside the market, has been because of the market.”

Through the multitudes of exciting change and growth, Ulivo Pizzeria says they intend to always remain close to their roots.

“My goal is to fly my dad over from Apulia, Italy to work in our food truck with us next summer,” says Andrea. “Although, he doesn’t speak a word of English, sometimes when he tries some French comes out! It’d be really cool for him to see what we’ve done in person.”

Check out Ulivo Pizzeria at ulivopizzeria.com.

Ulivo Pizzeria is at the Sequim Farmers and Artisans Market every Saturday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

SFAM celebrates its final market of the season this Saturday, Oct. 30. Drop on by Sequim Civic Center Plaza at North Sequim Avenue and West Cedar Street.

This Saturday at 11 am, SFAM welcomes SFAM will host Julia Buggy of Blue Mountain Yoga+ and Victoria Hall for All Ages, Family Friendly Halloween Yoga. Don your most festive, stretchiest costumes and enjoy spooky poses and silly good times!

Want more market updates? Be sure to tune in every Friday at 4 p.m. to KSQM 91.5 FM for the live radio “Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market Hour.”

Emma Jane Garcia is the Market Manager for the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market.

Though supply chain issues have hit businesses far and wide, Andrea Mingiano says Ulivo Pizzeria won’t skimp on quality ingredients. Photo courtesy of Ulivo Pizzeria

Though supply chain issues have hit businesses far and wide, Andrea Mingiano says Ulivo Pizzeria won’t skimp on quality ingredients. Photo courtesy of Ulivo Pizzeria

Photo courtesy of Ulivo Pizzeria

Photo courtesy of Ulivo Pizzeria

Photo courtesy of Ulivo Pizzeria

Photo courtesy of Ulivo Pizzeria