Farmers markets are known for locally grown fruits, vegetables, plants and handcrafted fare. In Sioux Falls, it’s also a great place to grab a pizza topped with fresh ingredients, like locally sourced green peppers, tomatoes and red onions from South Dakota farms. Each week Skipping Stone Pizza owners Kyle and Nicky VanDerWerff deliver wood-fired pizza perfection to hungry farmers market fans.
Making pizza food-truck style may have come out of necessity, but it turned out to be a great fit for the VanDerWerffs.
“During my last year of college, I put a pizza oven in my backyard just for fun,” said Kyle. “I was struggling to find a job after graduation and thought, ‘Why not?’”
Being new to the restaurant game, Kyle and Nicky opted for a food truck over a brick-and-mortar location for flexibility and ease of operation. “If we had a restaurant, it would be more obvious that we didn’t know what we were doing,” Kyle said with a laugh.
Like their food truck, the regular location on Saturday mornings at the Sioux Falls farmers market “just sort of happened.” “We applied to be in their food truck lineup and got lucky. A spot opened up and here we are.”
The farmers market is a great place for Kyle and Nicky to source fresh, locally grown vegetables for Skipping Stone pizzas. Most of the vegetables come from within a hundred miles or less of Sioux Falls. Even though the mozzarella cheese they use isn’t specifically labeled as local, many dairy products available in South Dakota come from a local dairy farm.
South Dakota does know its cheese. The state has 255 dairy farms and more than 15 different plants where milk is turned into cheese and other dairy products. On those farms, dairy cows enjoy a healthy diet including soybean meal. Did you know they eat over 31,000 tons of soybean meal each year?
For the VanDerWerffs, getting to know their customers is a real treat. Skipping Stone often trades their pizzas to the farmers who sell them their farm-fresh ingredients, like the tomatoes that go in to their sauce.
“We never thought we’d get to serve our pizzas at the farmers market,” said Kyle. “It allows us to have experiences and build relationships with people and fellow vendors we wouldn’t normally. We feel really lucky.”
Pizza isn’t the only thing Kyle and Nicky like to make. They also love making fire-roasted salsa to enjoy at home. Visit their website to plan your next lunch at the farmers market and, while you’re there, you can purchase fresh ingredients to turn up the heat with some salsa.
You know what goes great with chips and salsa? Melty, gooey cheese. Get the scoop on South Dakota’s dairy industry in these blogs: