Ashley Patino started her pizza-forward Instagram account in 2017, posting slices from all over the world: Portland, Brooklyn, San Francisco, Perugia.
By September 2018, she had given a name and vision to her quest: Pizza Bones, headed to Richmond in 2020.
“The business plan has evolved a bit, but my main thing is pizza. It’s always been pizza,” Patino says.
The Virginia native moved to San Francisco in 2015 to work at the renowned Tartine Bakery, an establishment with a mission to achieve, “better grain, better flour, sustainably grown.”
Before this she worked in town at Lamplighter Coffee and Sub Rosa Bakery.
“I set 2020 as a sort of deadline,” Patino says. “When I got back in 2019, I hit the ground running, looking to find a space.”
Patino signed the lease for Pizza Bones’ future home at 2314 Jefferson Ave., formerly the nonprofit Tricycle Gardens, last spring and since then has continued to put her well-honed baking skills to use whipping up scones and cardamom buns and shortbread every weekend for Recluse Roasting Project.
She’s held Pizza Bones pop-ups throughout the pandemic, too, and is currently selling her dough-y wares out of the Jasper space Saturdays and Sundays, slinging rotating pizza specials and salty chocolate chip cookies.
“The businesses I’ve really enjoyed working for had owners who went and learned somewhere and then came back to the community and shared it,” Patino says. “So that was my intention.”
When Pizza Bones opens – in early June, hopefully – Patino plans to have a similar pizza menu to what she’s offering at her pop-ups now, plus a selection of beer and wine and maybe coffee and pastries on weekends.
Her current pie selection includes a couple of specials – think ricotta kale with ancho chili – plus a magnificent)cheese with the ability to add toppings. Go ahead and add the perfect pep cups.
“I go back and forth on what the hours will be,” Patino says. “I’ve been considering just starting with Thursday to Monday, 4 to 9 p.m., with a slow growth.”
No matter what schedule she lands on for her first brick-and-mortar, Patino knows that, after years of grinding in the industry, she certainly will not be open until midnight. “I want balance in everything,” she says.
Pizza Bones will be grab-and-go to start, “I don’t have money for tables and chairs right now,” laughs Patino. “As long as I can get open and have pizza, I’ll be stoked.”
Follow Pizza Bones on Instagram for updates on opening (@pizzabonesrva).