Changing Boise’s pizza industry from fast to slow
By Ana Lete
As a young adult, Kacey Montgomery spent a decade working in Seattle’s restaurant business. Feeling ready for a change, he spent the next 10 years traveling, mountain-biking, and navigating rivers as a guide. Ultimately, he settled in Idaho, where he met his wife, Shannon.
Once settled in Boise, Montgomery dove back into the restaurant business – teaming up with Matador on 8th street until he was able to open Juniper a few doors down. Later, he opened Red Bench Pizza on Boise’s bench. Now, Montgomery has opened a second Red Bench Pizza in Eagle.
When asked what inspired him to open a pizza joint, Montgomery said, “When the opportunity arose for us to open a pizza spot, we envisioned a neighborhood pizza joint driven by quality ingredients. We wanted less quantity, more quality.”
Red Bench Pizza currently offers 19 specialty pies, and also serves lasagna every Tuesday at 4 p.m. In addition to their established pizzas on their menu, Red Bench Pizza also has build-your-own pizzas with an infinite amount of options and topping combinations.
When asked about his favorite pizza on the menu, Montgomery said, “I love our pizzas, all of them. I love Italian for its simplicity, and our updated version of Canadian Bacon and Pineapple – the Maui Wowi – because it hits all of the main flavor profiles: sweet, salty, spicy, and yummy…but if you’re asking for my one-and-only favorite, I’m going with the bacon and clam.”
No matter what kind of pizza you order, though, both of Red Bench Pizza’s locations source their ingredients from around the world to get the best ingredients every time. “We use San Marzano tomatoes from Italy because they are the gold standard for the Neapolitan-style pizza we serve,” Montgomery said. “But we source our cured meats from a family we found in Salt Lake City…We stay true to our Juniper roots, but if there’s a better product out there that we know about, we get it.”
After talking to Montgomery, it’s clear that he has a passion for high-quality, slow food – even if that food is a traditionally fast-paced food, like pizza. “…all too often, food is a means to an end, and many people aren’t enjoying the journey. While most people don’t have time to bake their own bread, cut pasta, grow salad, etc., we can still slow down enough to enjoy real food with real conversation,” Montgomery said.
With both of his Red Bench Pizza locations and Juniper on 8th St., Montgomery hopes to leave a lasting impact on the treasure valley’s food industry. “I would say our main goal is to continue making people happy through food and drink, so that hopefully, one day, people look back on our restaurant family and say we made a positive impact in the communities we became a part of.”
To learn more about Red Bench Pizza, stop in to their new Eagle location for a slice at 2826 S. Eagle Rd. Suite 100, Eagle ID 83616, or visit www.redbenchpizza.com.