**In celebration of Women’s History Month, I’ll be posting about women in the pizza community every few days this month. The pizza biz is pretty male-dominated, so let’s take this opportunity to throw the spotlight onto some of the women who are doing amazing work in the pizza world.
(Interview previously published/courtesy of PMQ Pizza Magazine)
“Running a successful restaurant is not for the faint of heart,” says Ann Kim, owner and chef of Pizzeria Lola, which opened in Minneapolis in 2011. “When the dishwasher is sick, be prepared to roll up your sleeves and do the dishes yourself. Investing in a restaurant is more about investing time, passion and energy than it is about money.”
Before opening Pizzeria Lola, which is named after Ann’s dog Lola, Ann was a freelance actor for 10 years, performing in various theaters in Minneapolis. She also worked as the director of education and community engagement at Hennepin Theatre Trust in Minneapolis.
“I’ve always had a passion for cooking and dreamed about someday opening a restaurant of my own,” says Ann. “I spent years daydreaming about different concepts, and since I didn’t have professional culinary experience, I knew I had to keep things simple. I ultimately decided to focus on one thing and do it better than anyone else. Our approach was simple: great pizza and great service in a fun setting.
“The inspiration behind the pizzeria came from spending my formative pizza eating years attending college in New York and my business partner’s time in New Haven, Connecticut—two cities known for outstanding pizza. We couldn’t find the kind of pizza we wanted to eat nearby, so we decided to create it.
“Once I had my focus, I researched and read several books on artisan baking and experimented with dough formulas, flours and yeast. I received intensive, hands-on training, gaining certification in American-, Neapolitan- and Sicilian style pizzas. Out of all the styles, I fell in love with cooking pizzas in a wood-fired oven, so I decided to create artisan quality wood-fired pizzas.”
Since opening Pizzeria Lola in 2011, Ann also opened a NY-style slice shop called Hello Pizza in 2013 in Edina, Minnesota.
Visit Ann at:
5557 Xerxes Ave. S.
3904 Sunnyside Rd