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Couple launches at-home pizza business during pandemic

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EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - One Eau Claire couple spent the pandemic making pizza and now, they're looking to trade their backyard oven for a commercial kitchen as their new small business takes off.

"He came up with 'CoVizza' as a joke," said Brittany Paulsrud, when explaining how the business name came about.

Last spring, Brittany and Jacob Palsrud were among the millions that lost their jobs due to the pandemic but managed to find a silver lining.

"It just gave us the time to do what we've been wanting to do," Jacob said.

What they wanted to do was make pizza. As Jacob took on the role of creating dough and sauce recipes, friends and family took on the role of taste-testers.

"It just became a thing every weekend," Brittany said. "And it was so fun to be able to see our friends and family safely and try out a different recipe every week."

In July of 2020, the two moved from Minneapolis to Eau Claire and brought CoVizza with them. Producing the pies in their backyard, the Palsruds only asked customers to pay what they could.

The method for this backyard bistro was simple: each week, a weekly menu would be posted to Instagram and people would direct-message them if they wanted to swing by for a pizza.

"They like DM you at the same time and then you have a million in there and your like okay I have to go in order here," Brittany said.

"And usually we added pizzas because of that, which is a trip," Jacob said.

"But it really worked out and Eau Claire is the best and that's really why it worked," Brittany said.

Before long, CoVizza was offered a pop-up spot out of the Informalist while the restaurant was closed. That's when the Paulsruds say CoVizza really took off.

"We got to do more pizzas in one day than we normally would be able to do," Brittany said.

The Paulsruds eventually ran into a problem every business dreams of: they outgrew the backyard and decided it was time to make CoVizza a serious business, licenses and all. They are even hoping to sign a lease on a commercial kitchen soon.

But no matter how many slices are served, the couple said one thing will never change:

"I'll never put a pineapple on a pizza," Jacob said.

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Felicity Bosk

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