Wood-fired pizzas with a new name

A Smelted pizza cooking in the company's wood-fired oven is shown. The food trailer, formerly Copper Crust Pizza Co., uses fresh ingredients to craft their unique pizzas. (Journal photo by Trinity Carey)

Food truck fans may have noticed the wood-fired pizza trailer formerly known as Copper Crust Co. has rebranded to Smelted.

The pizza company known for its cooking method and unique toppings has grown tremendously since its start in 2016, said owner Matt Lucas, and with that growth must come change.

“We got going, we wanted to do some things, and move on and grow and build a business, and quite simply we got stuck with some trademark and copyright issues with some other businesses in the food industry,” Lucas said. “Specifically the pizza industry named copper crust or something similar, so that’s sort of where the Smelted name stemmed from and we’re going to run with it.”

Employees at the company had business ventures they wanted to explore, but were worried their name would ultimately cause problems.

“The bigger we got and the more opportunities that came our way, we didn’t want to put those in jeopardy,” Lucas said. “We didn’t want to be six or nine years down the road with Copper Crust and get a cease and desist from another company with a similar name.”

Lucas and his wife came up with the name and logo for Copper Crust when the business was just getting off the ground, so the change wasn’t easy, but it gave them a chance to tip their hat to the Upper Peninsula.

“We wanted to pay homage to the U.P. and the community, how supportive they were,” Lucas said. “Smelted is a play on the smelting process which they use in iron ore processing, copper processing … We’re quite confident now that there is no other businesses out there named Smelted. We’re quite proud of that.”

The pizza company uses unique toppings with ingredients such as fig, prosciutto, wild mushrooms, goat cheese, arugula and more.

“Our ingredients without a doubt are of the freshest, highest quality you can buy and that’s something we hang our hat on,” Lucas said. “We don’t cut any corners. We want it to taste great, look great, smell great, the whole nine.”

That pride in the end product is what keeps people coming back, he said.

“Also, the casual atmosphere and hopefully the customer service is recognized as well,” he said. “The guys have a lot of fun when they’re out there and people recognize that. It’s convenient, people don’t have to sit down and wait for a server. No, they can come up and get their pizza when they are ready. We can tell them the time frame and it allows people to be a little bit more casual.”

Smelted stays busy with serving at local breweries and catering events and weddings, but hopes to expand their service to five days a week in the next few months.

“Our growth stems from the people around here,” Lucas said. “There’s summers where we just flat out can’t keep up and that’s a good feeling.”

Because of the pizza’s popularity, Smelted will be moving from a food trailer to a food truck this fall. This will allow the business to serve more consistently, offer pick-up and delivery services, and expand their menu with fresh salads and charcuterie boards, he said.

“There’s nothing ever out of the question,” Lucas said. “I think there’s going to be some really fun things happening within the next half year to a year with our brand and our business model.”

You can find Smelted starting at 6 p.m. at Ore Dock Brewing Co. on Wednesdays and at 6 p.m. at Blackrocks Brewery on Thursdays. They serve until dark or until they run out. They can also be found at the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market once a month. For additional locations or more information, find them on Facebook by searching Smelted Wood Fired Pizza or Copper Crust Co. or on Instagram @smelted_pizza.

“There’s some really cool things happening here soon and I hope people stay tuned, and they’re going to be able to find us a lot more on the streets in the next coming months,” Lucas said.

Trinity Carey can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is tcarey@miningjournal.net.


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