Local Teenage Entrepreneurs Bring Neapolitan-Style Pizza to Lake Okoboji
On any given summer weekend, you will find a group of teenage boys hustling around serving pizzas on the Mau Marine gas dock. Located on the west side of East Lake Okoboji, these local entrepreneurs are quickly creating, baking, and serving Neapolitan-style pizza pies to the Iowa Great Lakes.
Last spring, William Alexander had extra time on his hands. With in-person school shut down, he went searching for extra activities to stay busy and came upon Italian pizza videos on Instagram. This led him to researching, interviewing Italian pizza maestros, and experimenting with pizza crusts!
“I talked with Italian chefs and learned so much. I think I made a hundred different crust recipes until I perfected the one crust I really liked,” William said.
His mother Helen found him a specialized pizza brick oven, and the family enjoyed the pizza experimentation process over the summer months.
A year later and both recently graduated from Okoboji High School, William partnered with his good friend Jackson Krebs with the opening of Lost in the Sauce Boji. Logan Langel also helps when they are busy.
Situated next to the Mau Marine Ship Store this summer, Lost in the Sauce Boji specializes in Italian Neopolitan-style pizza and features handmade dough, homemade Italian sauce, and fast service.
“We are enjoying this opportunity,” Jackson said. “We will stay open until we both go to college in the fall.”
Lost in the Sauce Boji purchases imported flour from Italy and makes homemade dough every day. The Antimo Caputo flour is 100% Italian harvested wheat that goes through a slow milling process, making it extra fine. The rest of the recipe just calls for water, yeast, and salt. The dough sets 48 hours before it is used.
“The recipe is very simple. With the special flour, the crust becomes very airy and light,” William explained.
The boys also use a crushed tomato sauce imported from the San Marzano Valley in Italy. The mozzarella cheese is purchased locally and the meat is from Fareway in Spirit Lake.
When a pizza is ordered, the pies are hot and ready to eat within four minutes. Right now, Lost in the Sauce Boji has four options to choose from, which are cheese, all meat, pepperoni, and Margherita. Each pie is topped with fresh basil before baked.
“We have some creative options planned for the summer and will be occasionally featuring a specialty pizza in addition to the originals,” William shared.
A pizza can be quickly made and are then placed in one of the Ooni Koda gas powered brick pizza ovens, which heat up to 1,000 degrees and can cook a pizza in 60 seconds.
“We have a partnership with Mau Marine, and after an order, we give a customer a number. They then go into the Mau Ship Store and can order drinks and pay for their pizza. By the time they come out, several minutes later, their pizza is ready,” Jackson said.
The pizzas are then boxed up all ready to eat.
“We are really excited for this opportunity,” William said. “We are going to enjoy our summer making pizzas by the water!”
In the fall, William will be attending Stanford University, and Jackson is going to the University of Northern Iowa.
“We plan to be open every Thursday–Monday 11 am–6 pm, weather permitting,” Jackson said.
The best way to arrive at Lost in the Sauce Boji is by boat and dock at Mau Marine Ship Store. However, the pizza place is accessible by parking by Mau Marine or the bridge and walking toward the Ship Store. Lost in the Sauce Boji can be contacted on their Facebook page or followed on Instagram.