ASHLAND A family business dedicated to slinging specialty pizzas officially opened on Carter Avenue Thursday afternoon.
“Our building is a little different,” Erin Hutchinson, owner of Cargo House Pizza, said of the two shipping containers forming the building.
One would never expect a fully functioning restaurant kitchen to exist on the other side of the front entrance. Hutchinson explained the size of the restaurant my seem small, but the restaurant’s functionality is streamlined.
Hutchinson said the restaurant was a family affair at the business’s ribbon cutting ceremony.
According to her, the employees consist of herself, her husband, her children and their significant others.
Inside, the building is wide enough for two countertops to run alongside either wall and just enough space for employees to bounce around to serve up Italian-inspired cuisine.
The menu consists of fresh salads, sandwiches, pastas and specialty pizzas. The pizzas include pies such as the Port of Memphis (with grilled chicken, mozzarella cheese, diced onions and barbecue sauce) and the Honolulu Harbor (topped with ham, pineapple and a hint of cinnamon on a traditional marinara sauce).
More traditional pizza lovers can still get an assortment of toppings on a hand-tossed crust.
Those living on the edge with a sweet tooth can opt for a dessert-topped pizza.
Scott Martin, director of operations with Ashland Alliance, was the first to address the decent-sized hungry crowd on Thursday as owners and employees proudly held a blue silk ribbon.
“What a cool thing going on here,” Martin said, “I am so proud and happy to be a part of this.”
Martin said the atmosphere of Cargo House Pizza is all part of the charm of the area which celebrates family partnership.
Ashland Mayor Matt Perkins said he’s excited for the new restaurant, even if it’s because of selfish reasons.
“Two blocks from here is where I work,” Perkins explained, adding with a laugh he may need to take advantage of a membership to the gym next door.
“This could be really big,” Perkins said. “This says a lot about Ashland and where we’re going.”
Commissioner Marty Gute made an appearance, commenting on the neat concept and “great investment” of the new business.
Next to Gute, Commissioner Josh Blanton also issued a warm welcome to Cargo House Pizza.
“Thank you to the entire family. This is in a great location and is a great idea,” Blanton said.
A huge advantage of the carry-out and delivery only restaurant is its prime location in a fairly high traffic area.
The business is car-friendly with ample parking, a drive-through for quick and easy pickup and a patio for those who enjoy a slower dining experience.
Cargo House Pizza began cranking out orders Thursday at 2 p.m. following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, but offered an array of samples for those in attendance.
Boxes upon boxes were served up, one of which holding a signature Mexican-style pizza called Port of Ensenada: topped with taco-seasoned ground beef, onion, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, tomato, black olives, lettuce, taco sauce and sour cream, made specially for the crowd that can’t decide between Mexican or Pizza for dinner. At Cargo House Pizza, you can have them both.
Cargo House Pizza is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. It is at 2415 Carter Ave.
Online orders can be placed at cargohousepizza.com