Meet Ben | Pizza Supreme Being
Lately, I've been photographing a lot of inspiring individuals, all whom display the sheer confidence to "just do it" and I'm talking about starting their own business and living the life of an entrepreneur.
Meet Ben Roberts of Pizza Supreme Being!
I met Ben on a assignment I did for Sacramento Magazine for the July issue and I couldn't help but notice his radness--from his cool-James-Dean-style to the fact that he makes pizza for a living!
In my opinion, every great invention or successful entrepreneur is usually correlated with a drive influenced by that individual's past. So I had to ask Ben, "what drives you to make your business work?" And this is what he had to say...
I grew up in a small town called Grass Valley, about an hour north of Sacramento. It's absolutely beautiful there, but it was hard to be a teenager. I found myself, along with some friends, driving to downtown Sacramento to check out punk shows, either at an illegal venue in midtown or a punk house basement in Oak Park. We'd come down at least twice a week to catch all the touring bands. Punk music tends to have a negative reputation, but I truly don't know where I'd be without it. Reading books like "Get in the Van," a journal written by Henry Rollins while on tour with Black Flag, taught me that there is more to life than being stuck in a small town.
It's easy for me to get lost in my head and I need to occupy my mind constantly. I could never work in an office or go back to school. I couldn't even finish high school. I remember being a senior just-turned-18-years-old with 60+ hours of detention and already being told I wouldn't walk in graduation. I was sitting in government class one day and just stood up, walked out of class and never went back.
My government teacher asked me where I was going, and I said, "The skate park." I remember thinking, "If you walk out right now, you are going to have to work very hard to live for the rest of your life."
I eventually moved to downtown Sacramento with a childhood friend and struggled to find work. Go figure. I met Jason Boggs, who hired me on the spot because I was wearing a Black Flag t-shirt. I remember him asking "you like punk?" and then he kept saying, "You and me, kid, we are going to get along great. You are my protégé." Since then, I've worked at numerous restaurants trying to occupy my spinning A.D.D. brain.
I reached a point where I wanted more out of my career, so I got a loan and purchased an oven and started doing pop-up pizza parties hosted by my friends' businesses. I just wanted to be in complete control. I wanted to write my own path. So, I feel very lucky to have met and worked for the people I have because I gained so much knowledge from them.
I moved down here with no money and put myself in a major amount of debt. I got a job, paid off all my debt and moved forward. I got a higher-paying job and then moved forward again. Eventually, I quit that job for another that paid less but honed my craft and helped create the passionate cook I am today.