MINNETONKA — Jen Patterson loaded up a coaster wagon with bags of pizza kits, cookies, salad and beer from a driveway, not a store.
Patterson and others in this Edina neighborhood gathered Thursday afternoon to collect pre-ordered items from Station Pizzeria and Boom Island Brewing Co., both of Minnetonka.
It was the first effort for the two businesses to make a coordinated delivery at a residential site.
“We just wanted to do something different and to show support,” Patterson said, adding that Station owner Jake Shaffer is a neighbor. “I like it because the kits are something my kids can have a part in too.”
Bags of items ordered from the Station were placed on a table in the makeshift driveway operation, while Scott Becker, one of the owners of Boom Island, distributed growlers of beverages from the back of his SUV.
“I just think it’s fabulous,” said Jan Nelson, who with her husband Mike lives a few doors away from the pickup site. “We’ll see how the pizza-making goes, but I like the idea of showing support any way we can.”
Neighbor Erik Tropple said he was supporting the Shaffer family and was trying Boom Island beer for the first time.
“The delivery idea is pretty good because everything is kind of crazy right now,” he said, referring to the COVID-19 situation and consequential business slowdowns. “We’re just giving this a shot, but it looks like it’s working out pretty well.”
Kevin Welch, a partner in Boom Island, said people picking up the beer they prefer or getting it delivered gives them a “sense of normalcy to all this. We’re certainly selling more in the to-go format than we did before, but all that’s to be expected.”
Business for the company’s 750-milliliter crowlers became so popular that the “seamer for the canning has broken twice because of excess use,” Welch said.
Becker said the company’s association led to the new delivery venture with Station Pizzeria.
“I think it’s a good idea,” he said. “You have to look at new ways to make things work.”
The two businesses had a good working relationship before the inside business slowdown — Station would serve Boom Island brews at its facility while Station would deliver pizzas to Boom Island, Becker said.
Boom Island will now offer Station’s pizza kits for sale at the brewery.
“Having the kits at Boom Island just makes it one less stop for someone who wants both beer and pizza,” Shaffer said. “We’ve had a really strong relationship and we’re doing what we can to help each other out.”
Shaffer said he contacted Becker about the dual delivery idea.
“You saw the first one,” Shaffer said about last week’s simultaneous delivery. “There may be some fine-tuning that goes on, but I think it went well and we’ll keep trying.”
Station is offering the pizza kits, a full salad menu and boxes of chocolate chip cookies as part of the delivery service. The cookies, peanut- and treenut-free, are new to the business. The kits started about three weeks ago.
Each kit is $20 and includes dough, cheese, sausage, pepperoni and sauce to make four personal-size pizzas. There is a gluten free option.
“The kits are going good and it allows us to keep our staffing in the restaurant a lot stronger than without them,” Shaffer said. “It just started by talking with the family when this virus thing started about how we could drive sales during this weird time. I don’t think it’s anything revolutionary, but I think it’s right for the time.”
The company’s website offers a 4 minute, 35 second video of Shaffer making a pizza from kit ingredients. In it, he offers tips about how to keep the dough pliable; how to make and bake it, and that he’s not responsible if dough hits the floor.
“It was my first video and I thought parts of it were pretty funny,” he said with a laugh. “I’m not sure how others will feel about it, but it does offer instruction on how to make it and I have plenty of experience with that.”