On March 17, Earth and Stone Wood Fired Pizza shared some wonderful news with its fans—“We signed the lease yesterday on our new location! Very excited to be opening in Madison. We are projected to open our doors by mid-May!”
That’s right, Madison! You are about to have delicious, farm-to-table pizza right in your backyard. While most of Huntsville is already a fan of the restaurant’s Yellowhammer location, Stan Stinson and Tina Ford—co-owners and founders of Earth and Stone—have committed to expanding the business to Medical Park Station in Madison.
Situated off of busy Highway 72, the new Earth and Stone location immediately caught the eyes of Stan and Tina.
“We have a really good following in Madison because we spent several years building our brand there. This new location was very serendipitous,” said Stan. “It’s a former pizza place, so we were able to get a restaurant going without all the expense of a start-up.”
Stan said that business partner Tina Ford will handle the day-to-day operation of the Madison location while he maintains the restaurant at Campus 805.
“Tina will bring a group of trained folks from our current location and we will grow from there,” said Stan. “We plan to flip-flop back and forth between locations so we can both be involved in maintaining the customer experience.” In addition to experience, the Madison location will have the same menu offerings that are available at Campus 805.
“We want our Madison customers to enjoy everything that we have available at our Yellowhammer location,” said Stan. “So, our menu will be duplicated.”
The restaurant will also have 4-6 beers on draft and will serve a selection of craft beers, wine, and ice cream (including their adult ice cream flavors). As for the pizza, all of the fan favorites will be there.
But where did the team come up with the flavors and offerings that customers have come to know and love over the years? According to Stan, it all comes down to experimentation.
“The Latham—for example—has a really cool story behind it,” said Stan. “A few years ago, we were at Latham Farmers Market. Every year, the Methodist Church has a food drive where northern Alabama farmers donate sweet potatoes.”
On that particular day, the church had received a large shipment of donated sweet potatoes, and Stan was tasked with coming up with a clever way to use them. As a fan of starchy sweet potatoes cooked with caramelized onions, Stan knew he was up to the challenge of creating something delicious and unique.
“At Latham’s, we were usually set up next to Humble Heart Farms: Goat Cheese,” said Stan. “We had the arrangement to trade our pizza for their goat cheese. Suddenly, it clicked. I could create a pizza with all of the ingredients together.”
And so, The Latham was born. Stan credits the success of the pizza inventions to quality ingredients and research.
The Earth and Stone Difference
When it comes to being a dedicated foodie, Stan goes the extra mile. From the moment Earth and Stone became a concept, the team started researching best practices for making dough and even gave away pizza to willing taste testers until they discovered the perfect recipe.
“Right after we bought our first wood fire oven, we spent two months perfecting our dough recipe,” said Stan. “After giving away nearly 1,000 pizzas, we think we have it just right. We believe Madison will see a difference in the quality we offer.”
All of Earth and Stone’s pizzas cook in two minutes flat and use flour from Italy that can withstand 900 degrees. This commitment to excellence creates a noticeable difference.
“You’ll see black spots on our dough that develop flavor; you’ll see browning and blistering,” said Stan. “We aren’t a pizza chain. We are in this to be a unique offering to the market.”
(Speaking of unique, Earth and Stone’s adult ice cream selection is growing in popularity. The restaurant’s house-made ice cream comes in flavors like Bourbon Butter Pecan and Tequila Sunrise!)
What started as one of Huntsville’s first food trucks has become a sensation that the Rocket City can’t seem to get enough of. So much so, that Earth and Stone has been approached about adding more locations outside of the Huntsville-Madison area. But for Stan and Tina, customer experience comes before anything else, which plays a huge factor in any future plans.
“We want our customers to have the same experience wherever they eat our product,” said Stan. “It’s our customers that allowed us to grow, and that’s why we will always stay heavily involved with the daily operations of Earth and Stone. It’s because of them we are successful. And we can’t wait to connect with our fans in Madison. We will see you soon!”
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CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP