The phrase “dream job” gets thrown about a lot. Often, we’re so unimaginative that our idea of “dream” is having slightly more money and three extra days holiday. But, every so often, you come across a story so inspiring and exciting that it forces you to reassess what you mean when you talk about what you would like to do more than anything else on earth. The business venture of Sasha and Tara Bouis certainly ticks that box.
Until 2014, the couple lived fairly comfortable, if not particularly remarkable, existences. Sasha was a high-flying Wall Street executive, whilst Tara spent her time teaching elementary school in rural Indiana. According the Food Insider, “the two met in the British Virgin Islands, where Tara taught summer scuba lessons.” Clearly, the couple knew how to have a good time.
As their relationship developed, the two decided it was time to take their first step into the world of business. Basing themselves in the Caribbean, which Tara knew well from her days as a diving instructor, they established a fledgling private yacht charter company, which soon grew into a successful enterprise. For eight years, this was how they made their living. However, their lives would change dramatically when they one day pulled into the port of St Thomas and were suddenly struck with a hankering for pizza.
It was there, bobbing about on the azure waters of the harbour, that the idea for a revolutionary new type of pizza place was born. No longer would those craving a slice of something hot and cheesy have to head to shore to be satisfied. Tara and Sasha decided that they would create and run their very own Caribbean pizza boat. “PiZZA Pi” was born.
Almost immediately, the couple spent their savings on a 37-foot, long abandoned boat and began to get to work. In order to make their new sailing kitchen seaworthy, the pair would have to completely redesign and equip the interior, as well as do constant battle with an impossibly persistent termite infestation. In all, it took around two years before PiZZA Pi was finally ready to take to the water.
Everything about the vessel is designed to make aquatic pizza-making as easy as possible. Solar panels power many of the kitchen appliances, while the boat comes complete with its own water-maker for desalinating sea water. All this means that the boat can now serve seasonal pies everyday for anyone who can get to the Virgin Islands. Specialties include the “Carbonara” - with optional additional lobster - and the “Rasta Mon”, made with red coconut curry sauce.
Even though Tara and Sasha sold PiZZA Pi earlier this year, the boat is still very much the place to get pizza in the Caribbean. Currently ranked at number four out of 375 restaurants in St Thomas, according to Tripadvisor, the new owners have continued to pour their time and enthusiasm into the business. If PiZZA Pi proves anything, it’s that no matter how impossibly enjoyable your dream business venture might sound on paper, anything really is achievable.