What started as an idea over a few pints has gone from food truck to pop-up to restaurant and has ended up with The Dough Bros being crowned the best pizza in Ireland and No. 15 in the world.
Here's the craic so far.
You won't have a pint, will ya?
Knee deep in the middle of the recession, Eugene got the call that his job in sales was gone. The boys were uppin' sticks back to Canada, leaving him high and dry.
There was only one thing for it – a few pints with Ronan. Some say it was after one pint – others say it was six or seven – but the two boys decided they were gonna open a pizza truck.
Let's put Irish pizza on the map
They'd been back and forth to Italy a few times over the years and always loved trying to find the best pizza going. Neapolitan was always the buzz, but the lads saw an opportunity.
"Why do the best pizzerias in the world always have to be in Naples, New York, or London?" Ronan asked Eugene one day. "Ireland has some of the best dairy, meat, and veg in the world so why cant one of the best pizzerias in the world be on the West Coast of Ireland?"
The Italians might've invented pizza, but The Dough Bros were going to reinvent it.
Starting off with a bang
Things got off to an awful start. After six months of research, business plans, and sleepless nights The Dough Bros had their first night selling pizzas from the food truck.
But on their way home, didn't they crash the bloody yoke into a jaysusin' bridge. Nightmare stuff lads. I won't lie to ya, they almost packed it in, but with a few sound heads around them, they were back up and running in two weeks. The pizza dream was still alive.
From food truck to pop up
Eugene and Ronan hit the road for a year in the pizza truck, posting up at festivals, parties, and just about anything else they could find from Gort to Gleno. But The Dough Bros needed a home.
Word was going about the town that there was a café up for rent on Abbeygate Street that had a wood-fired oven. They could hardly say no like. So there they were, the place packed with family and friends, all with a paintbrush, hammer, or tape measure in hand, decorating the place with old football jerseys, posters, and Nintendos from the attic. At long last, they'd found a home.
Back to school for the boys
Right, so the place was hopping, people were loving The Dough Bros, but they knew they could do better. It's all well and good having a busy restaurant when you first open, but to keep the quality sky high and have the same people coming back time and time again, you need to know how to make a fairly daycent pizza.
Ronan packed his jocks and his toothbrush and was shipped off to the best Pizza School in the world, the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana, in Naples.
The masters over there taught him all about the theory and techniques of making true Neapolitan pizza. If any of his teachers from school are reading this, you won't believe it but he left Naples with a first class honours.
Pop Up made permanent
The pop-up turned into a stay-up and lasted for two years on Abbeygate Street, but eventually, the time came to pack it all up and move on to pastures new. With a healthy dose of luck, they found a new spot not too far away on Middle Street, which is where you'll find The Dough Bros today.
They've spread their wings even further – but not too far – over to O'Connell's on Eyre Square. The food truck has been put out to stud there where it's churning out quality pizza after quality pizza in one of the best beer gardens in the country.
What's this Covid yoke then?
Like everyone else, The Dough Bro’s world was turned upside down for two weeks with Covid. And sure enough that two weeks turned into two years fairly quickly. Eugene and Ronan couldn't face letting their deadly staff down or disappointing the die-hard customers, so they decided to ship their pizzas to their customers doorsteps, all over Ireland. Their now famous Pizza Kits were born.
Collabs with Guinness and local restaurant Kai made them realise that there's a serious appetite for making restaurant quality pizzas at home. The boys decided to jump in feet first and get themselves a Pizza Production Playground here in Galway to keep the DIY pizza kits going.
Top of the class
Recognition comes in plenty of shapes and forms when you run a business. Eugene and Ronan love chatting with regulars who've supported them since Day 1 and seeing what the buzz is with people who wander in off the street. It's class to see The Dough Bros being loved by so many.
The 'chilli-oil-on-top' moment came when The Dough Bros were named the No. 1 Pizzeria in Ireland at an event in Naples. And sure didn't they only get it again the following year. Unreal lads. They also found out that they’re the only Irish pizzeria to ever be named in the Top 100 and were recently rated the 15th best pizza in the world.
After all that hard graft, the mad idea the two lads had over a few pints was complete. Irish pizza is well and truly on the map.
Onward and upward
It's been some craic so far for the two boys, they wouldn't change it for the world. And The Dough Bros wouldn't be here without ye. A pizza shop is nothing without its pizza eaters, and ye are the best ones going.
Here's to more pizza, more craic, and more success.