I just ordered Zume Pizza for lunch. This was the first time I have ever ordered it and it came in 8 minutes. It was hot and delicious, and it’s obvious once you eat one, that it’s made with the highest quality ingredients available. Right when I was taking a photo of the delivery person, a Google Self-Driving car was passing my house. That photo is the future of food: fast, fresh, automated and the highest quality ingredients available.
Zume is doing something so different than other pizza companies, that it’s hard to imagine. Right now robots help prepare and cook the pizzas from an industrial part of Mountain View, but eventually the pizzas will cook in the delivery vehicles while they’re on the road, delivered to customers right out of the oven.
I was invited to go on a tour of Zume and see the whole process. The big robots squirting out the sauce and spreading it on the rounds of dough were really interesting, but honestly, I was more focused on the shelves of ingredients and the fact that everything they were using is what I use at home. The flour is King Arthur, non-GMO and never bleached, and anyone who bakes bread knows that it’s the best. Julia Collins, one of the co-founders, showed me the batch of “mother-dough” fermenting and told me how they feed the container of starter every night and let the dough rest and grow before it is used in dough the next day. It doesn’t have any chemicals or preservatives at all. As a result, the crust on your pizza is like eating real, handmade bread, as opposed to the puffy, chewy crust on the average pizza.
The cured meats come from Applegate Farms and Zoe's Meats. Both companies provide superior quality cured-meat with an emphasis on community and environmental awareness. Applegate Farms was one of the first companies to commit to exclusively use meat that is raised without antibiotics or hormones. The tomatoes are from Modesto. The cheeses are from dairies that use sustainable and ethical practices, no hormones are added to the milk. All the veggies are from farms right around us, you know, totally California grown. The futuristic looking pizza box is compostable, since it's made from sugarcane fiber.
Julia told me that it was her mission in life to figure out a way to get high quality food, made with the best ingredients out to everyone. She lived in Italy and saw the locals eating quality food, with no chemical additives, and eating plenty of it and not getting fat. Fast food doesn’t have to be bad for you, it’s just that we haven’t been given any options, until now. Zume Pizza is FAST and the best quality ingredients around.
There is no brick-and-mortar store front for customers to go to—like Amazon or Zappos, you just go online and place your order and awesome stuff shows up at your front door, in no time at all. I’m telling you, it’s the future of food. I look forward to seeing how Zume grows and transforms as a company. Right now they’re only in Mountain View and will very soon be opening in Santa Clara.
When I walked in the front door of Zume, I felt like I was visiting any other tech company in Mountain View, with a bunch of engineers and computers, this one just happened to be making amazing pizzas in the back. It’s a nondescript building tucked away in the Shoreline West neighborhood.
No, they’re not taking jobs away from people because they have robots. If you’ve walked down Castro Street in the last year, you’ve noticed 'help wanted' signs at almost every restaurant. There is a shortage of service-industry workers at restaurants and Zume (although not really a restaurant) is creating jobs, paying their employees competitively, and inventing new ways to get high quality food out to local families, which is exactly what we want. When I hear about start-ups like Zume Pizza setting up shop in Mountain View, I feel proud of our community.