Soda Creek’s logo — a Telemark skier swooshing through a turn with pizza in hand — says all you need to know about the company’s status in Ski Town USA.
While it’s easy to relate to its message, founder Steve Hitchcock knows as much about making pies as he does about marketing them. Hitchcock dropped out of college to go through the Domino’s manager training course (before returning to major in philosophy and anthropology), and worked at a number of pizza joints in the Twin Cities, including the famous Green Mill, before founding Soda Creek in Steamboat in 1999.
Through it all, he’s learned to make pizza with a bit of pizzazz. “We try to make pizza that’s unique to Steamboat Springs,” says Hitchcock, who also owns clothing store Zirkel Trading Co. “People don’t want the exact same thing that they can find back home.”
That explains the popularity of its best-selling Snow in Texas pizza, made from chopped garlic, olive oil, ricotta, mozzarella, mesquite-grilled chicken, artichoke hearts and fresh Roma tomatoes; its Thai Peanut Veggie, made with Thai peanut sauce, red onions, green peppers and roasted, unsalted cashews; and its Szechuan Duck.
Soda Creek also specializes in wild game offerings, including its Wild Hawaiian, made from wild boar, and another that comes topped with locally sourced elk sausage. Even the dough has a local twist, made with honey sourced from Bear River Aviary.
Apart from distinctive discs, Soda Creek also emphasizes bang for the buck. “We’re pretty generous with our portions,” says Hitchcock, whose parlor employs 19 people in peak season. “We make sure people don’t walk away hungry.”