GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) — The Grand Rapids Downtown Market, the `region’s preeminent destination for innovative food experiences, today announced Rocket Pies, an all-new, market-fresh pizza eatery, as its latest tenant in the Market Hall. Rocket Pies will have a veggie-positive focus on Neapolitan-style pizzas and hearty salad bowls using certified organic ingredients.
Rocket Pies, derived from “roquette,” the French term for “arugula,” is the latest project of Chris McKellar, owner and founder of Love’s Ice Cream, which is also a Market Hall tenant. In addition to launching Rocket Pies, McKellar has also acquired Relish Green Grocer from the Downtown Market. With the acquisition, McKellar will colocate all three businesses into Relish’s 3,125 square foot space, an expansion of more than six times Love’s current retail and production space.
“The Downtown Market is an ideal location to develop a new food business, satiate West Michigan’s pallet for a healthy, locally sourced alternative to traditional Americanized pizza and to meet the expanding needs of Love’s Ice Cream,” said McKellar. “Delicious pizza done right, can also be a nourishing meal. Rocket Pies will bridge the gap between farm and table by placing the same attention on organic, local, non-GMO ingredients that we have poured into Love’s Ice Cream. We’re excited to extend our food philosophy to meal times, with thoughtful options for omnivores, vegans, and those with food intolerances alike.”
“Delicious pizza done right, can also be a nourishing meal. Rocket Pies will bridge the gap between farm and table…”
In Italy, raw arugula is often added to pizzas just before the baking period ends or immediately afterwards, giving it a sweet, peppery flavor. McKellar, who attended the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, envisions Rocket Pies as simple, Neapolitan-style pizzas.
Starting with a base of wild-leavened dough from specialty milled organic USA flour, which will result in a thin, crispy-chewy crust, organic tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese made from Michigan grass and non-GMO fed cows, and fresh vegetables from the likes of Green Wagon Farm, or several of the urban farmers popping up in Grand Rapids. Select charcuterie toppings will be sourced from sustainable artisan salumerias around the country.
Rocket Pies will focus on market-style service, which has grown popular in Grand Rapids. The new location will also serve to expand Love’s Ice Cream’s scoop shop offerings and ice cream dessert experiences. The combined Rocket Pies/Love’s Ice Cream space will provide seating for 40 guests and a more convenient location and hours for guests who are popping in for a treat.
“Relish will continue to be very much like my pantry at home, but focused intently on fresh ingredients from local farms, as well as non-perishable staples like rice, legumes, pasta and other goods a family needs to create the core of a meal all in once place,” added McKellar. “In addition to keeping a fresh grocer presence for local consumers, Relish will be a seasonal source of fresh, local ingredients for Rocket Pies, as well as a destination for CSA and local farm pickups.” More tropical staples like citrus, bananas, and avocados will remain essential to the product mix.
The opening for Rocket Pies, the new Love’s Ice Cream location and Relish Green Grocer remodel is projected for spring 2016.