Help! Missionary opening pizza business.

Hello everyone,

My name is Seth Dailey and I’ve been a missionary in a city of 70,000 in Mexico for 15 months now. I’ve been working with a church and we’re just starting to look more into missions. I believe missions trips are a great thing and I want to enable youth here to be able to take part in them, but many don’t have the resources to.

Therefore, I’m opening up a pizza business here, about 5 hours from the border, to let these guys use the business as a long-term fundraiser. The profit would go to sending out 3-4 missions trips a year. They would work and bring the people in, the business would pay for their plane ticket, food, etc. depending on how many people they can bring in to buy pizzas.

What I’m asking advice for is, well, mostly everything.
I worked in the food business for 3 years in the States, a little bit with pizza but I don’t my dough, and I’ve got some good taste buds, but you all have the experience.

I want to start very simple. 16" thin crust pizzas.
Ingredients: Pepperoni, Pineapple, Canadian Bacon, Red & Green Peppers, Onion, Bacon, and Chorizo

I’d like to pre-bake the crusts if possible, store them, and when time, stick the ingredients on them and put them under a broiler-designed oven that I’m making. What are your thoughts?
Also, Dough help? I’m lost with yeast.
If you think it’s a bad idea, what kind of oven do you recommend I get?

Flour. Yeast. Cheese. Tomato paste/ diced can tomatoes. Meats. Vegetables. Boxes.
I need a provider. South Texas near McAllen or Laredo?

I know I’m getting myself into a life-consuming thing here, but I’m confident the Lord is behind me and for His glory it will succeed.

Any other advice would be appreciated.

Praying for blessings on you,


Gold Bless you Seth!

I wouldn’t recommend a par-baked crust, having made them (wholesale) b4 - 4 a living…

I believe Tom L. can give you the best advice for the flour in your region, as I understand that may be an issue…

Plenty of info on this site & all are more than willing to help, I’m sure…

It may not be an easy business, but it may suit your needs…

Dough is simple…but you’ll need a decent 60 qt mixer @ least…I used to have a very nice small spiral mixer that was cheap & did a great job…

I’ll donate some dough trays…but you’ll need to figure out a way to get them from Florida…

Many of use use IDY - its idiot proof!

Good Luck!

I’m going to try to steer you away from building your own broiler type of oven. When I think of broilers, I think of baking from the top down, but pizzas are baked from the bottom up with few exceptions. And believe it or not, baking on a par-baked crust is one of those exceptions. Yes, you will still need some bottom heat, but not nearly as much as is required when baking a pizza on a raw dough skin. HOWEVER, there is a rub, and that is, your par-baked crusts will need t be baked from the bottom up, more like a tratitional pizza, baked on a raw dough skin. This means that you would need an additional oven just to bake the par-baked crusts. Avoid the hastle, just go with a gas deck oven, there are a lot of them available at a reasonable cost. For a complete dough formula and procedure, look in the RECIPE BANK, and use the word “dough” as your search word. there are many great dough formulas and procedures posted there. If you’re not familiar with the recipe bank, go to the home page, click on Culinary, and look for the RECIPE BANK in the drop downs. While you’re at it, spend some time exploring the web site options. This is a great resource, and the price is right, it’s all free. Also be sure to check out the used equipment too.
Tell us something about how you envision your store. Space, type of cooler/freezer (reach in or walk in) DELCO or dine-in, There are a bunch of here to help you, and the more we know about your store, or what you envision, the better we can help you.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

We have a shop down in Belize that we helped get started. My parents minstries go every year for the past 20 years. PM me and I will get in contact with you.


Feel free to contact me directly at
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Here are 2 pics. Remember that this is Belize not the USA. We as Americans are truely blessed with what we have.


PT - thank you so much. I’m looking forward to hearing back from you.

Patriot’s Pizza - thank you for your generosity and advice too. I was looking at a 60 quart mixer and everything was over $6 grand. I’m working on a very, very small budget…

Tom L. and Patriot’s Pizza - what do you think about me at least starting out with a distributor for some frozen dough?

Tom L. - I have made a pizza back at home that scored in the top three with all 8 taste testers, and for 2 it was their favorite. I used a normal house oven’s broiler. I bought some dough from a local pizza shop, put it on an electric griddle, real thin and almost like a saltine cracker, then stuck some sauce I made and some OK mozzarella - stuck it under for the broiler for 6 minutes and it was done and delicious. That’s why I started making this broiler oven. We’re just about to finish it, so I’m just going to play with it either way, but lean towards your advice - with the knowledge that you know much more than I.

What should I look for in a used deck oven?

Envisioning the store:
Starting out - all to go - maybe have two tables or a bar against the front window(s). We’re still looking for a place, but that’s what we have in mind.

Cooler/ freezer - I’m trying to do it with as little as possible, because of lack of funds. Both the cooler and the freezer will definitely be reach-in though.
We’re looking to get a few motorcycles to deliver.
I’m looking to do everything as simple, basic, and easy as possible. I’m not going to have a lot of competition, and I’m not looking to skimp on my ingredients.

What am I looking at for some good cheese - per pound? What is a good provider for south Texas near Laredo/McAllen?

Thank you so much again for all your help.



Look for a good gas deck oven, maybe have someone from a reputable heating and air conditioning look at the burner to make sure everything checks out. It would be great if the oven is still hooked-up so you can see it operate, but most are not. Be very cautious of the oven that has been in storage for more than a year or so. Make sure you get an oven with a stone, not a steel deck.
To save some money up front, you could start out by having a local bakery make your dough for you. That would be cheaper than buying frozen dough. This would give you some cash flow, which can be put into the purchase of a scale and a good mixer. Maybe look for a Hobart VCM mixer to get started. You can usually latch on to one for $2,000.00 to $2,500.00, with a good electronic scale from AND for about another $400.00. Just make sure you get a place with enough floor space for the mixer, a 4-foot scaling bench, and a pallet size area for storing your dough making ingredients. You can place your dough balls onto used bakery sheet pans (about $2.00 each) and cover/wrap in a food contact approved plastic bag (reusable). This might make for a fairly low cost start up. Maybe someone else can add some more to the pot?
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Or… conveyor oven. Thin crust? A faster cook?
What are your thoughts?

Conveyor oven (air impingement), thin crust, faster cook time. A match made in heaven.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Gas or electric? Dependent on gas and electricity costs here, or is one better than the other?

Gas is almost always going to be the more efficient of the two, plus, if you’re thinking about buying used, all things equal, you’re not as likely to get burned (no pun intended) with a gas oven as you are with an electric oven. Not too much to go wrong with a gas oven, but a lot of things can go wrong with an electric oven. For example, wires can get very brittle, and when the oven is moved, things go dramatically wrong as wires break or short out.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor