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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Congratulations, EVO.

The Charleston City Paper came out yesterday with its Best of 2008, and I'm proud and happy to say that our friends at EVO Pizza won Best North Charleston Restaurant. Not only are owners Ricky Hacker and Matt McIntosh wonderful chefs and people, they are also committed to using only the freshest local ingredients. And they make damn fine pizza.

I have had the unique opportunity to watch this business grow, because I am friends and colleagues with EVO's marketing/accounting mastermind (as well as Ricky's wife), Elena. She and I have been friends and workmates through 2 jobs and nearly 5 years. I have watched in amazement as she ran from her "full-time office job" to her "full-time restaurant job." I have watched in admiration as EVO grew from the most successful pizza cart in town to a flourishing Park Circle restaurant with a most loyal clientele.

Yesterday, while we were celebrating and talking, Elena said, "Four years ago, Ricky came home and said 'I'm quitting my job and Matt and I are gonna sell pizza from a cart.'" As we all laughed over the sheer hilarity, bravery and vision of that moment, it occured to me that most great ideas start out sounding rather outlandish.

It has been an incredible lesson in dedication, hard work and commitment to watch EVO flourish in such a competitive business. It's even better to watch your friends succeed by staying focused on what matters most to them: great food, community and the desire to share their passion with anyone who wants to jump on board. Congratulations, EVO and P.S. Happy Anniversary (4 years for the business, 1 year for the restaurant.)

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