What does a Virgin Island yacht charter crew do, when anchored offshore and the craving kicks in for a slice of pizza?
If you’re Tara and Sasha Bouis, you buy a derelict boat, gut the interior to install brick ovens, and open the first “Pizza Boat” in the US Virgin islands.
The floating “Pizza Pi” boat is anchored in Christmas Cove, at the east end of St. Thomas, next to Great St. James Island. You can order your pizza via your boat’s radio, or call it in via cell, or even e-mail it. Then you can either pick up the pizza in your dinghy, or Pi will deliver it to you if you’re anchored in Christmas Cove.
The location is perfect as both personal boats and private yacht charter vessels from St. John and St. Thomas are constantly passing through the cove. Even tourist-packed daytime sightseeing and snorkeling boats are taking a detour and stopping by the pizza boat, for authentic New York style “pies” [hence the boat’s name, Pizza “Pi” – get it…the Greek letter “Pi”???).
Before opening Pizza Pi, Sasha was working on charter yachts as the captain and Tara was the chef.
The idea for the pizza boat came from a night at anchor, when Sasha and Tara were too tired to cook, and too tired to dinghy ashore to look for a take-out meal. They spent the night eating microwave popcorn and dreaming about how great it would be if there were a pizzeria on the water nearby.
After eight years of working on charter vessels together, the couple found a 37 foot abandoned boat on the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. They spent two years restoring the boat and installing a commercial-grade pizza kitchen with brick ovens and a giant Hobart dough mixer. To run the appliances, Sasha and Tara outfitted the boat with solar panels. They financed the project with the money they saved from working on boat charters.
The couple took a week-long intensive course at a “Pizza school” in New York, to learn to make authentic thin crust pies.
The pizza boat was “launched” about 9 months ago, and business has been steady. On an average day, they make about 25 pies. On a busy day, 30 to 40 boats stop by for a pizza. Sasha designed a hatch where people on dinghies can place orders and pick up their pies.
A banner displaying the menu hangs from the side of the boat.
Among the offerings:
• Sweet Home Indiana (sausage, corn, white sauce, and arugula)
• The Blumin Onion (made with lemon aioli instead of tomato sauce; leeks, radicchio, blue cheese, and honey)
• The Dalai Lama (a pizza with everything on it – the works)
Fresh ingredients like local Caribbean lobster can also be added as a topping.
Currently, Pi is ranked as the best restaurant in St. Thomas on TripAdvisor. It has 59 five-star reviews and one four-star review. The person giving the boat a four-star review admitted the pizza is “delicious” but subtracted one star because they don’t deliver to her house on shore!
FREE PIZZA: book a yacht charter vacation in the USVI or BVI through 1-800 Yacht Charters, and we’ll treat you to a complimentary large Pizza Pi pizza with toppings during your charter!!! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our contact form.