published Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Small Biz: Monens add Community Pie to downtown menu

Mike Monen, center, co-owner of Community Pie, works to get orders out during the lunch-hour rush.
Mike Monen, center, co-owner of Community Pie, works to get orders out during the lunch-hour rush.
Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Name: Community Pie

Owner: Michael and Taylor Monen

Location: 850 Market St.

Opened: Jan. 14

Specialty: Serves authentic Neapolitan pizza, craft beer and gelato

Staff: 60 employees

How it got started: "In college it was my dream to own a pizza joint," Michael Monen said. "I went into the restaurant business right out of college and was co-owner of Sticky Fingers. That sold in 2006 and I took a couple years off, then started Taco Mamacita with my wife. And after that we opened Urban Stack. So there have been a couple of detours along the way, but I've always wanted to have a pizza joint."

Anticipated first-year sales: $2.5 million

Authenticity: Michael Monen attended a week-long training course in San Francisco to become officially certified in Neapolitan pizza making. A world-class cook taught Monen about the history of the dish, cooking techniques -- 800 degrees for 60 to 90 seconds -- and quality ingredients. "Our flour is imported from Italy and we import all our tomatoes for our tomato sauce," Monen said. "A lot of places will use imitation of those things, but we've gone the extra mile to make it authentic."

Five-year goal: Community Pie is one of six restaurants opened or soon to open by the Monens since September 2008. "The goal for our company is to keep growing and maybe do a restaurant a year for the next four years," Monen said.. "We want to get up to 10 locations, as financially we're capable of it and when we have the right personnel."

Website: www.facebook.com/CommunityPie

Phone: 423-486-1PIE

— Compiled by Shelly Bradbury.

about Shelly Bradbury...

Shelly Bradbury covers police and crime in Chattanooga and Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She's been with the paper since 2012, working first as an intern and then as a business reporter. She is from Houghton, New York, and graduated from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in management. Before moving to Tennessee, Shelly previously interned with The Goshen News, The Sandusky Register and The Mint ...

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