AN adventurous couple decided to quit their jobs to live out their dream – to open a pizza-serving boat in the sparkling Caribbean.
Tara, 34, and Sasha Bouis, 40, originally from Indiana and Manhattan respectively, serve their delicious pizzas in paradise every day and have seen their team grow to a crew of ten.
Before working on their tasty dream, Tara had worked as a school teacher and Sasha had been on Wall Street.
They met in the British Virgin Islands, where Tara taught scuba lessons during the summer, and for the next eight years they operated a private chartered yacht business together.
One night they were moored up in St Thomas enjoying a stunning sunset, and felt that the only way the scene could be improved was with a slice of pizza – and thus the idea was born.
The couple scraped together and forked out for 37-foot sailing/motorboat called Pagan, which had been abandoned for 10 years.
Sasha, who is a mechanical engineer by trade, set about to transform the boat into a commercial-grade pizza kitchen, which wouldn’t serve as a home in order to comply with health department requirements.
It took two years and lots of YouTube tutorials, a cooking course, but in 2014, Pizza Pi was launched.
Three years down the line and the team have gone from selling 20 pizzas a day, five days a week, to being a crew of ten selling up to 90 pizzas a day, seven days a week.
Tara said to the Sun Online: “I will never regret dedicating this portion of my life to Pizza Pi.
“I can’t believe it but we are closing our third season of selling pizza plus the 2.5 years of building the boat interior in order to open.
“I have dedicated almost six years of my life to a food-truck-on-the-water!”
The team serve a rotation of three seasonal menus, which include 16 inch pizzas that range from $20 (£15.30) – $34 (£26.01) depending on toppings.
For those looking to splash out, you can also add lobster to the pizza for a bit more money.
Tara said: “The favourite pizzas from each menu are Madd Mushroom (people go nuts for the porchini sauce), Blumin Onion (there’s something about the blue cheese and honey), and Mango Mami (fresh local mango? yes please).”
One of the exciting parts of their on board adventure was the arrival of their first baby, a daughter called Fiona who was born in November 2015.
Tara, who is expecting another baby mid-October, said that due to having her toddler in tow she has retired from the kitchen and is more involved with the day-to-day running of the business.
She said: “My daughter Fiona and I are out at Pizza Pi a few days a week for as long as she can behave herself. :)”
Despite the many highs, it hasn’t all been plain sailing, with Pizza Pi getting caught up in the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Irma.
Thankfully the boat remained relatively unscathed, and just needs some repairs before it can be back open for business.
The couple posted on Facebook: “The good news is that Pizza Pi will live to see another season.
“Pi is in good shape – she’s upright in the boat yard. Broken mast and forestay but otherwise good to go!!”
The couple are currently working hard to get Pizza Pi back where it belongs, serving mouth-watering pizzas to boats mooring up alongside.
And now there is an opportunity to join the gang on their pizza-filled dream.
They are currently looking for a chef and three deck hands and will be interviewing in November, so you may want to book a flight ticket to join them in paradise.
Pizza season is from the middle of November to the end of July, and then they take three months off during hurricane season.
Tara said: “Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if life would be easier if we went back to ‘normal’ desk jobs.
“There is an allure to working somewhere we could cut and walk away at 5pm when we drive home.
“But then I remember that we went out to Pizza Pi with my daughter to grab dinner and swim in the bay earlier this evening and any thought of wanting normal jobs floats away.
“If we had not made the leap and built this crazy boat so so so many people would have missed out on the fun experience that is Pizza Pi.”
They aren’t the only ones to follow a rather unconventional dream.
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