NEW YORK -- An Albania native has turned a fire truck into a pizza food truck, becoming a popular caterer in New York.
Zef's Pizza Firetruck, a buzzing eatery founded during the pandemic, provides a fiery ambiance and tasty wood-fired pizzas.
The idea for a pizza fire truck dawned on owner Zef Noci after being furloughed from his job in 2020. As a gift for his birthday, family members saved up to buy him a pizza oven where he started making pizzas for his block. After being encouraged by his family and community, Zef set his sights on opening his own business.
"One day I was looking online, and I saw a fire truck for sale, and I said there it is," Zef said.
A used crimson 1985 American LaFrance Fire truck would be the main attraction for this concept. From there Zef took out a home equity loan to equip this firetruck with a wood burning oven and all the specs it would need to run efficiently.
He spent time traveling to his favorite pizza shops and recreating his favorite pies. Zef even used recipes from his Albanian heritage to make 'old country' favorites like leek pie. Zef's menu offers a variety of options for all pizza lovers like Mike's Hot Honey, four cheese truffle honey, as well as vegan and gluten free options.
"It's sort of like when you're jumping into the water...you hold your nose before you jump off into the deep end, that's what I did," Zef said of embarking on the adventure of opening his own business.
When Zef's Pizza Firetruck opened it picked up quickly through word of mouth. With three years in the business, Zef's Pizza makes an effort to give back to the community that made it successful. Partnering with Slice Out Hunger, the Hance Foundation, and NY Veterans, Zef has been able to help feed hundreds facing food insecurity.
"There's no better feeling than getting a thank you message from a client or someone I've helped. I find joy in meeting good people and I'm grateful for the people who pushed me to get to where I am," Zef said.