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Healthy Family Fun

Rocky Mountain Flatbed Co.

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Healthy Family Fun

The open hearth of the domed oven pushes out equal doses of aroma, warmth, and quite possibly the healthiest pizza in the country.

The open hearth of the domed oven pushes out equal doses of aroma, warmth, and quite possibly the healthiest pizza in the country.

The Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. is making a common North American staple spectacular. By maintaining a core philosophy of organic freshness, it is putting pie in the eye of even the most health-conscious diners. Healthy pizza? Rocky Mountain Flatbread’s founders would never have settled for anything less.

For over a decade its principal players, Dominic and Suzanne Fielden, specialized in change management in the UK. Then they fell in love with Banff on a ski trip and the wheels of Rocky Mountain Flatbread were set in motion with its first location opening shortly thereafter in Canmore, Alberta.

“We managed to introduce some strong sustainability practices consulting within the UK and it was all good,” said Dominic, “just not good enough. We weren’t making the impact I thought we could, so one day we brainstormed a fresh start. It had to be a food people could afford, that was eaten regularly, that was done a lot, but for the most part done poorly.”

Thus, Rocky Mountain Flatbread was born of a simple desire on one couple’s part to find environmental, social, and financial success.

“We had thought of opening in the UK, but when we saw Banff and then the figures for frozen pizza sales in Canada, we knew what we had to do,” said Dominic. With an annual $1 billion spent by Canadians on frozen pizza and less than $30 million spent on frozen organic pizza, the Fieldens entered the fray to offer up the real “wheel” deal.

Now with their second location opened on the West Coast in Vancouver’s trendy Kitsilano, the Rocky Mountain team is working their all-natural wonders once more. Offering up a slice of the good life, both fresh and frozen, this is not the pizza parlour you grew up with.

Their handcrafted pizzas feature all-natural ingredients and contain no GMOs, trans fats, or additives. Could it be? A holistically minded pizza parlour? If it sounds too good to be true, the minds behind Rocky Mountain’s success story would not have it any other way.

“Any good chef can take expensive ingredients and make good food,” said chef and partner Ralf Wollmann upon meeting the Fieldens. “To make great food that everyone can enjoy, a chef needs to be able to take simple, wholesome ingredients and add plenty of passion and creativity.”

Needless to say, Wollman got the job and has been a core ingredient in Rocky Mountain’s success ever since.

Working together with local farmers and regional suppliers is a key factor in Rocky Mountain’s formula, and while the proof is said to be in the pudding, here the sauce provides a better illustration. One hundred-percent organic tomatoes, carrots, and onions slow-cooked with fresh herbs make for a base light years beyond the sugared slathering of the competition.

“This is what food is supposed to be. My grandparents ran a five-star hotel in Holland. Daily market shops were part of my life growing up,” said Dominic. “I have always been a firm believer that hospitality should extend to the ingredients as well.”

Their operative philosophy is simple: success comes naturally to any dish that sticks with basic, healthy ingredients. By working together with local artisan cheese makers and green growers, they have done more than re-invigorate a common consumer commodity with a dose of fresh thinking.

While many kitchens are exposed and placed centre stage these days, the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. boasts a truly “open” kitchen. Encouraging patrons to ask questions, hosting cooking classes for the community, and emblazoning its walls with local heroes from the community, the champions of thin crust have a true depth of character.

And while the secrets of their ultra-thin crust and special organic sauce remain proprietary, they have created a menu that can be enjoyed by the whole family both in preparation and at the table.

As for the pizza–ask for it by name wherever fine foods are sold.

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