We had the good fortune of connecting with Westley Latka and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Westley, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I have always been entrepreneurial. After going through a few “normal” jobs and sitting in a cubical for 8 hours a day I finally got the guts to push for what I really wanted. I wanted to be my own boss. I knew that I wanted the work I did in my life to be more fulfilling. My wife and I met working at a wood-fired pizzeria and we both had the know-how. I had savings and we decided to make the leap of faith and go for it. I never would have thought that I’d love cooking pizzas as much as I do. We feel like we haven’t worked a day since starting this business because we truly love what we do.
What should our readers know about your business?
We are the proud owners of SToKD Pizza, a mobile wood-fired pizza trailer located in Denver and Pueblo. My wife and I started the business in 2016 in Denver. We’ve been moving and shaking since the moment we opened. Having come across many forks in the road with this business it’s been tough to decide which way to go at different points. It seems at this point, we’ve chosen to go the right direction each time. We’ve been very fortunate. For example we’ve had to determine if we are a food truck or a specialized caterer for private events and parties. How do we feed large crowds in a timely manner? Do we continue our business in the quiet town of Pueblo and will it work? Business-wise we would not be where we are without our team of mentors. We’ve had many learning curves and with their help we’ve overcome them. Our brand was founded on the love for pizza and people. We strive to provide people the very best quality of food and service. Our pizzas cook in 90 seconds allowing us to serve guests in a very timely manner so they can focus on having a good time. We import our flour and tomatoes from Italy and hand-make our dough. It hasn’t always been easy but we feel if you use high quality ingredients, surround yourself with those who appreciate what you do, and truly love and care about each pizza, it’s a recipe for success and we haven’t been proven wrong thus far.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We’d take them to eat at Jax Fish House and Tommy’s Thai for dinner. We’d go to Stanley Market Place for breakfast at Denver Biscuit Co. Take a walk around Sloan’s Lake at Sunset. Go to Punch Bowl Social for games and food and then head to Sweet Action across the street for dessert. Hang out at Cheeseman Park for a day playing frisbee and volleyball.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Although we would not be where we are without so many, I’d like to shoutout to my parents. We have received their guidance, love and ongoing support and encouragement since day 1 . Growing up seeing the hard work they put in to their own business gave me the foundation I needed. The moment that we brought them the idea of going out on our own, they pooled all their resources and helped us get over all of the hurdles. Thank you mom and dad.
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