That Monkey on Your Back w/ Ben Osher of Gorilla Pies

Ben Osher, owner of Gorilla Pies in Los Angeles, shares his journey from fine dining chef to pizza entrepreneur. He discusses crafting the perfect pizza using creative techniques, expanding his business organically, developing an authentic brand identity, and staying true to his vision while listening to customers. Ben's insights offer valuable lessons for aspiring restaurateurs and small business owners.

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In This Episode

  • From Fine Dining to Pizza Entrepreneur: Ben Osher, owner of Gorilla Pies, shares his culinary journey from working in fine dining kitchens like Nobu to starting his own pizza business during the pandemic in 2020. He discusses how the limitations of pizza helped focus his creativity.

  • Crafting the Perfect Pizza: Ben dives into the details of his pizza-making process, including using a combination of King Arthur and Caputo flours, a sourdough starter with a bit of yeast, and fermenting his dough for 72 hours or more. He explains how he balances traditional techniques with his own creative touches.

  • Expanding the Business: As demand for Gorilla Pies grows, Ben talks about the challenges of expanding his business, from upgrading to a higher capacity pizza oven to hiring and training staff. He emphasizes the importance of growing organically and not skipping steps.

  • Authentic Branding and Marketing: Ben credits much of Gorilla Pies’ success to authentic branding and organic media coverage. He discusses how his logo, website, and menu are all authentic representations of his background and style. Media outlets have sought out Gorilla Pies rather than Ben paying for PR.

  • Staying True to Your Vision: Throughout the interview, Ben emphasizes the importance of staying true to your own creative vision while also listening to customers and making smart business decisions. From his unconventional sandwich bread to not accepting cash, Ben has grown Gorilla Pies by balancing his instincts with the realities of the business.

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