Jay Langfelder launched Buffalo’s O.G. Wood Fire Pizza Truck in June. OG stands for “One Goal.” Maybe you’ve seen it. Since the launch, he has been inundated with hungry pizza lovers. If you do see the truck, I’d suggest you move quickly because he often sells out fast, and you’ll be left hungry on the street. I know from experience!
What makes this pizza and food truck a little different? A wood-burning pizza oven in the back that gets up to 900 degrees. Jay can do a pizza from start to finish in about four minutes—at that temperature, they only take 60 to 90 seconds in the fire.
Jay generally likes to go out with three pizzas du jour: two traditional Neapolitan-style pizzas (think Margherita, Filetti di Pomodoro) and one a bit on the creative side like “The John Candy,” which features Canadian bacon, smoked Gouda and New York maple syrup. Langfelder is adamant about using quality ingredients like San Marzano tomatoes, naturally leavened sourdough, fresh mozzarella, locally-grown basil, sea salt and the like.
How did Jay get into the pizza business? Well, he has always been a pizza lover. With a lot of help from his father they pieced together his truck. He also received a great base of knowledge for his business at Buffalo’s Trocaire College. Jay worked in the food service industry for a while before he realized he needed more training and education to advance his career. He graduated from Trocaire’s Hospitality Management program in 2011 with an associate in applied science degree.
“I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do,” he said. “The Trocaire program gave me the freedom to apply what they were teaching me to my own interests. Everything I was learning, I was thinking ‘how does this apply to creating my own business?’ I was focused on pizza, and my teachers were great in letting me go with it.”
Trocaire’s Hospitality Management associate degree program offers an excellent foundation for a well -rounded and hands-on education, including many aspects of food and beverage management, hotel administration, the hospitality and tourism business, and general management as well.
“We see a lot of people come to Trocaire after they have spent some time in the workforce,” said Dr. Jennifer Higgins McCormick, dean of Arts, Sciences and Professional Studies at the college. “Many of our students already have a job and have decided they need better training to excel in their chosen field. The average age of our students is about 27. Classes are offered during the day and sometimes online, because most of our students are working in the industry at night.”
Trocaire’s Russell J. Salvatore School of Hospitality & Business is located on Transit Road behind Russell’s Grand Hotel and restaurant in Williamsville. In addition to the standard college facilities, students have access to a full, working kitchen/learning lab and the occasional chance to work in the grand kitchen at Russell’s Steaks, Chops & More restaurant.
In addition to the two-year associate’s degree, Trocaire also offers a certificate program in Hospitality Management. Students who decide to go on for a four-year degree in the major can take advantage of Trocaire’s association with Niagara University, as well as several other local institutions, where credits can transfer and be applied to a four-year degree.
Another key ingredient in the success of Trocaire’s Hospitality Management program is its small size. The intimate program provides instructors the opportunity to work individually with students to maximize their experience.
That type of atmosphere also allows the administration to connect students with local and national businesses for internships and eventually full-time employment. A few local companies seeking the program’s well-trained students include Russell’s Grand Hotel, HarborCenter, the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, Delaware North, The Roycroft Inn and The Mansion on Delaware, to name a few. On the national level, the program also provides the opportunity for select students to explore an internship with Disney.
As for Jay? The program was a dream come true. Trocaire gave him the tools he needed to start a business while perfecting his talents in the kitchen and in the food service and business worlds.
For those of you dreaming of getting into the hospitality, food service, tourism or restaurant industry—or maybe even starting up your own food truck and giving Jay some competition—check out what Trocaire has to offer HERE and feel free to check out Trocaire’s fall Open House events coming up (October 24 (starting at 10:00 a.m.) for High School Students, and November 4, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. for transfer and adult students) or call Admissions at 716-827-2545 to learn more.
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