By Mary Gajda | Photos By Doug Julian
Vin Trofeo’s intent on being the tops in pizza
Your story begins when a young Will Baird heard from a longtime friend and fellow graduate of Vestaburg High School, Tim Chaffin, with a request for help renovating an old building. Inside that building was a pizzeria Chaffin wanted to resurrect.
“It was a complete gut job,” Baird said. “An absolute nightmare.”
Yet the pair saw potential in the rundown space. Baird said that Chaffin loved pizza and “loved watching shows about pizza.” That was the extent of his knowledge in the pizza business. Some may laugh at that, but Baird knew Chaffin’s drive and success in the trucking industry was proof enough that he could handle any new business.
So, the two began to create a plan: one, get the building in shape and, two, develop something special.
“We are perfectionists and will work endlessly until we get the results that we are looking for,” Baird said. “We chose to treat pizza and all of our other products in the exact same way.”
It started with flour, yeast, salt and a Kitchen Aid mixer – “Dough 101,” as Baird calls it. The two immersed themselves into the process and learned from the ground up. They focused on learning the science behind good dough, from how the weather affected the process to proper proofing and beyond.
The process repeated with sauce, cheese and evolved the next step – a business. With a handshake deal on the building, Baird and Chaffin ran a successful pizzeria, bar and restaurant. The two, however, were forced to walk away due to issues with leasing, but they were in no way done with their passion project.
Baird and Chaffin went back to the drawing board and, in the same way they created their iconic pizza, they created a new plan: one that took every ounce of knowledge on location, branding and the creation of a new name.
Thus, Vin Trofeo’s Pizzeria and Pub was born.
“Trofeo in Italian means trophy and Vin was shortened from vincitore, which means winner,” Baird said. “Trophy winner. The term seemed to describe exactly the products that we wanted to offer.”
Vin Trofeo’s was established in 2018 and finally opened its doors on Sept. 13 last year in the heart of downtown Mount Pleasant. Among the pizzeria and pub’s most sought-after products include pickle pizza made with a creamy dill sauce, a popular 10-topping pizza, barbecue chicken pizza, grinders, breadsticks, baked wings, gluten-free crusts and carb-friendly hot bakes made with zucchini noodles. Vin Trofeo’s even has a vegan cheese option for those who can’t eat dairy.
Baird and Chaffin take great pride in making dough fresh daily along with finding the freshest ingredients. They also take pride in proving the naysayers wrong. One of the pair’s greatest motivators came when another local businessman told them he’d tried the pizza business and pizza couldn’t be sold in Mount Pleasant. Baird’s answer? “You’ve never had our pizza.”
Prego, Mount Pleasant.
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