Pizza on-the-go comes with an unconventional full-service style for one food truck company, with its mind on sustainability and deliciousness.
Mountain Crust is a pizza catering service that delivers more than pizza—it delivers an entire social experience that turns an event into a festive affair.
Mountain Crust was predicated with Founder Ryan McLean’s stint as his mother’s personal caterer for her pizza parties, later becoming a short-lived foray into a pop-up pizza restaurant in his house. That first bite of carbohydrate-fueled success grew into an idea that has been delivering continued success ever since.
“We really had good food, and we just wanted to have an awesome way to serve it, so we got some loans, and my senior year of college we hit the road running,” McLean said, adding the company’s first catered event was his graduation party in 2016. “Last year, we really took off; it was crazy.”
Now, the catering company owns two trucks and caters events six days a week, eight months a year. Ole Blue is Mountain Crust’s main catering truck, fashioned out of a 1955 Ford F-600 pickup that was customized for the business. The portable kitchen holds a Mugnaini oven and a large open window for serving.
Food is served buffet-style with options that include appetizers and drinks, then salad, pizza and other entrées. Service starts at $25 per person for three hours of service, and the basic package is $1,250 for 50 people. The current menu listed on the website includes baked brie, lamb meatballs, Caesar salad, a Thai-inspired pizza and mac n’ cheese, but any event can customize their options and options are rotated on a regular basis.
“Right now we’re messing around with seven different sauces and 30 ingredients . . . there’s something for everybody,” said McLean. Mountain Crust’s bestselling pizza is the Mushroom Mountain, a pizza topped with fontina cream sauce with a roasted mushroom mix, pancetta, caramelized onions, fresh rosemary and a drizzle of truffle oil. “Everyone loves that one.” Another pizza option has a fig chutney and prosciutto topping, “ . . . That sweet and salty combination that people are always interested in on a pizza.”
“The food is one thing. It’s amazing, but the personalities of our crew, and everything that we bring to that dynamic is something totally different.”
Mountain Crust’s most popular salad is the Farmer’s Salad, which includes pickled beets and sweet corn, carrots and goat cheese. “Our salads are super fresh. We buy all of our ingredients [on the same] day, so it’s cut fresh for the event.”
They can also accommodate dietary restrictions with gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. The business has not yet explored the option of adding cannabis to its catering offerings.
Mountain Crust aims for zero waste service, including recycling and composting at every event. The business uses recyclable cups, compostable napkins and serves on melamine plates in a rotating color scheme.
“We have two trucks up-and-running and, honestly, we could fully book a third and maybe a fourth with the amount of inquiries we get,” McLean said. The business’ light-hearted, fresh and social atmosphere reflects the employees’ view of the business.
“The food is one thing. It’s amazing, but the personalities of our crew, and everything that we bring to that dynamic is something totally different. People just like to hang out with us, it’s awesome, and we really like to hang out with people too . . . it’s our winning formula.”
While the food helps the company stand out, it’s the staff and focus on customer service that makes Mountain Crust a winning catering company. “We’re just young people who like to have fun. We’re not your normal catering service. We’re very unique, we make everything right in front of you—and that’s what sets us apart from the pack,” said McLean, adding that Mountain Crust is a complete service rather than just food catering. “We do full set up for weddings, we clean up the venue afterwards, we do beer and wine service, dessert service, cocktail hours, appetizers, entrees, pizza . . . we do it all,” said McLean. “We created our own category.”
The catering truck company is Denver-centered and charges a travel fee for locations outside of Denver.