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Member on the Menu: Andrew Dana, Timber Pizza Co

October 24, 2016

Andrew Dana is born and raised in Mount Pleasant in Washington DC.  He fell in love with Pizza from a young age.  He went to college and grad school, but was never about that life.  After trying to make it in the corporate world, he decided that the only career path for him was pizza.  He really likes basketball and R&B too.

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What is the hardest part about owning and opening a restaurant?

That tomorrow is always a day away.  There are no breaks, no calling in. Exhausted after a busy Friday and Saturday? See you Sunday for service.

…and the most rewarding part?

It sounds corny but hearing strangers praise your product. I was out to lunch with my Mom the other day and the table next to us was raving about Timber.  Pretty damn cool.


Where do you look for inspiration when putting your menu together?

Everywhere.  Other restaurants, travel, farmers markets, nature, tv, music.  The Timber Pizza brains are constantly churning new concepts and new flavors.


How did your mobile business start impact your new brick and mortar location?

Above all it ingrained an indelible connection to local farmers markets since that is where we did (and still do) a lot of our selling.  We have great relationships with farmers and DC-area purveyors which ultimately translates into a hyper-local menu, and these relationships inspire us to consider new flavor combinations (like using locally-made "Chups" with our empanadas).

How did you get started in the business? What was your first job in the industry and what did you learn from it?

Chris and I had part-time jobs in restaurants and catering growing up, but, honestly, Timber is our first real job in the industry. People ask how to get started, and I tell them that Step One is: hate your current job. Chris and I were not happy at our desk jobs and desperately in need of a change. How hard could pizza be...?


Where do you see yourself in five years?

Creating and growing local businesses.  Timber has tons of room for growth: new products, new locations, new pizza concepts.  But we want to do other things. Timber's Head Chef and Main All-Star Daniela Moreira has brilliant ideas for days; she and I are constantly brainstorming.


What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

At the risk of sounding super-high on myself, a friend once told me to trust my instincts.  In this industry, it is easy to listen to advice about what you are "supposed to do" and commit to the norm or the expected.  I think it's Timber's authenticity that resonates so well with people.  We've been ourselves; we are not trying to be like everybody else in the industry.  And that comes from trusting our instincts and doing what works best for us.


What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Point Guard for the Boston Celtics. Or R&B singer.


What song always makes you happy?

Lucy Pearl - Dance Tonight


What is your favorite ingredient?

Currently Pimenton (smoked paprika).  Chef Dani introduced it into a lot of the flavors at Timber and I am hooked!  Historically my favorite ingredient is cheese.


You’re hosting a dream dinner party.  What three people would be at your table?

Nelson Mandela, Kanye, Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights


It’s the last meal of your life  - what’s on your plate?

Crabs. Fries. Pizza for Dessert


What are your pet peeves?

Loud chewing.  I hate it.


What is your favorite way to give back to the community?

With pizza!  We love to provide food for some of our favorite charities. 


What’s your favorite go-to junk food?

Are pupusas junk food?  I like peanut M&Ms.


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