Pie in the Sky
Ian Gurfield’s Fearless Passion for Pizza
Pie in the Sky : Ian Gurfield’s Fearless Passion for Pizza
Leather Works Minnesota: A family business revives American...
Amelia Coffaro: Illness refocuses a photographer's dream
Café Racer: Filling the soul by feeding the community
Would you work 100 hours a week to make your dream come true?
Tackle your darkest doubts? Sleep in a closet for two months? Ian Gurfield’s fearless passion for pizza led him on a journey unlike any other.
After a trip to Italy while studying at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Ian struck up a conversation with the proprietors of a local, family-owned Italian restaurant. He hoped to practice his Italian, but a friendship blossomed and he went to work for the family to learn the business.
An entrepreneur at heart, Ian dreamt of opening his own pizzeria. And to find the right location, he resolved to drive across the country, visiting college towns along the way. He slept in a friend’s walk-in closet for two months to save up money. Then, starting in New York, he drove west to Seattle and south as far as Davis, California — where he remembers being overwhelmed with doubt.
“Once I opened the doors, part of me felt like, ‘I crossed the finish line! Now I can relax!’ But you can’t,” Ian says. “Sixteen years later, I’m still dreaming, still growing, still learning all the time.”
“I felt that I was at the edge of a cliff and about to jump, and I wasn’t sure if I would land somewhere safe” he recalls.
Two years later, the very first Ian’s Pizza opened in Madison, Wisconsin. Today, with additional locations in Denver and Milwaukee, Ian continues to dream.
Ian Gurfield’s three tips for dream fulfillment
- Cultivate dreams, not fantasies. Keep your dreams grounded in reality and be willing to do the work to achieve them.
- Expect setbacks. Progress is not linear. There will be things you struggle with, but that’s not the end of the story. A setback may open the door for success later.
- Celebrate progress, but keep dreaming. Achieving a dream doesn’t need to be the end of the dream. It could be the start of a new phase that builds on your success.