Boardwalk Shuffle

Vertical Harvest co-founders Nona Yehia, left, and Caroline Croft, right, give Wyoming first lady Jennie Gordon a tour of the facility in January 2020.

Pizzeria Caldera changes hands

Joe Hurd has purchased Pizzeria Caldera from its previous owner, Chris Hansen, for an undisclosed amount.

Hurd will co-own and operate the pizza restaurant with his wife, Annie Hurd, who has a background in restaurant management and will run most of the office operations.

“We want to keep it largely the same,” Joe Hurd said. “We love the staff, and we love the menu. Through the summer we won’t change all that much.”

Hurd has been coming to Jackson on and off for more than 20 years and said the town was “always on our family list.” Now, with two young daughters about to start school and an energetic golden retriever, Ted, the move to a smaller, outdoor-minded town felt right.

They’re coming to the valley from the Twin Cities in Minnesota, where Hurd worked as CEO of SixSpeed, an integrated marketing agency. So why the sudden move to pizza?

“I had been looking for a career shift,” Hurd said, adding that he and his wife did a couple of secret taste tests and liked Pizzeria Caldera’s Neopolitan product. He discussed things with Hansen and officially took over as owner on May 1.

The Hurds weren’t just charmed by the local stone hearth oven product, they also had an eye on Pizzeria Caldera’s newest offering: the frozen “free range” pizzas which are shipped overnight direct to doorsteps across the nation.

That direct-to-consumer option is “a little more different and fun” than what some other restaurants offer, Hurd said, since the pies are topped with local meat and vegetables right alongside the ones baked at the company’s brick and mortar home.

Those frozen offerings are also on sale at local grocers — Aspens Market, Pearl Street Market, Hungry Jack’s General Store and Whole Foods — and Hurd said he plans to continue the charitable component, with 10% of frozen pie income donated to organizations like Hole Food Rescue.

— Evan Robinson-Johnson

Vertical Harvest earns Fast Company award

Vertical Harvest, creator of the greenhouse adjacent to the town parking garage, earned three honorable mentions in Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards.

The awards honor “the businesses, policies, projects and concepts that are actively engaged and deeply committed to pursuing innovation when it comes to solving health and climate crises, social injustice or economic inequality,” a press release said.

The awards for Vertical Harvest were in the Best World Changing Idea North America, Food and Social Justice categories.

Vertical Harvest describes itself as a “profitable model for a vertical farm that provides consistent, meaningful employment for people with intellectual and physical disabilities by cultivating nutritious food for the community.”

The Jackson greenhouse was its first. A second one is coming to Westbrook, Maine.

“Vertical Harvest has a plan to expand to new cities throughout the U.S., pairing the innovative growing technologies of vertical farming with jobs for underemployed populations and creating the new farms with affordable housing as a blueprint for a national model of change.”

The awards are in their fifth year. They showcase 33 winners, more than 400 finalists and more than 800 honorable mentions, the release said. Fast Company editors and reporters selected winners and finalists from a pool of more than 4,000 entries from around the world.

You can read about the awards in Fast Company’s summer 2021 issue.

— Staff report

Womentum seeks mentors, mentees

Womentum is taking applications this month from women interested in mentoring or being mentored through Womentoring.

The Womentoring program aims to foster participants’ personal, professional and civic leadership. Each year Womentum partners up mentors and mentees based on their skills and goals. Over nine months those mentoring pairs attend small group dinners, workshops and events.

Womentoring launched in 2007 with eight mentor-mentee pairs and now supports double that, the organization said.

Womentoring runs September through May, and participants are expected to commit to attending all events on the calendar.

“We offer one cohort activity, dinner or workshop each month, as well as support for one-on-one mentoring experiences,” a Womentum press release said. “Time commitment is anticipated at three to five hours per month, although many pairs choose to meet more often.”

The fee to participate as a mentor or mentee is $150 per person.

For details, including the calendar, go to WomentumWyo.org/services.

— Staff report

Course offers ‘deep dive’ into Facebook

Social media expert Rose Caiazzo is offering two-day “deep dive into the world of Facebook for business later this week through Central Wyoming College – Jackson.

Called “The Facebook Client Attraction Formula,” the course will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday on Zoom.

What attendees can expect to learn, Caiazzo said, includes how to create immediate growth in business using Facebook, even if you are not exceptionally tech-savvy, how to optimize your Facebook page to stand out and be noticed by the right people and the “secret timing strategy to attract clients and customers on Facebook in 10 minutes a day.”

Caiazzo also plans to announce the start of her “Social Media Secrets Club” for business owners over 60 who are “ready to commit to their learning and transform the way they communicate with their audience.”

“The Facebook Client Attraction Formula” costs $97. If you can’t attend the two-day retreat while it’s going on, recordings will be available for 48 hours for you to view and listen to on Saturday, May 15.

To register go to Tinyurl.com/xstfs62h.

— Staff report

Contact Jennifer Dorsey at jennifer@jhnewsandguide.com or 732-5908.

Jennifer Dorsey is chief copy editor and Business section coordinator. She worked in Washington, D.C., and Chicago before moving to the Tetons.

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