1771 Sturt Street, Ballarat, VIC
03 5338 4309
Owners, Chris and Tim Matthews and Richard Natt, knew they were on to a good thing with their pizzeria restaurant, but they never imagined just how quickly business would take off. Just twelve months after opening The Forge Pizzeria on Sturt Street they began to plan their second venue, and now, two years on from their original opening they're proud to have opened The Forge Pizzeria at a second location, on Armstrong Street North.
Step inside The Forge Pizzeria, and you get the feeling that it’s not just a great place to eat, but a great place to work. “We are authentic, passionate and love pizza. Everyone who works at the Forge Pizzeria is encouraged to be themselves, look after every customer, and enjoy The Forge experience”. The support from management (the pizzeria is managed by Josh Chapman and recently Genevieve Shelton) in conjunction with the owners, is obvious in all aspects of service – staff are friendly, attentive, and have that special ‘je ne sais quoi’ spark about them.
It’s a good thing the staff are helpful, because the recycled brown paper menu offers a multitude of mouth-watering pizzas to choose from. From the classic Margherita, to the vegetarian favourite Pumpkin, to the signature Shearer’s lamb pizza, all pizzas are served on simple wooden boards and come with generous, flavoursome toppings. The Forge team credits their wood fired pizza oven as being the real hero in the restaurant. Yes, fresh dough, the best ingredients, and good people help achieve results – but it’s the oven that finishes the job. At over 500 degrees, the heat of the oven is intense, and like a blacksmith using his own forge, it takes training, hard work and skill to perfect the craft.
To match your pizza, The Forge offers a great selection on its ‘Thirst Menu’. From boutique beers and ciders to a succinct, local and Italian wine list, staff will happily help you choose a drop to go perfectly with your order. “Our wine list is simple, designed to match the flavours of our pizza. There are some great Italian varieties being grown and made locally that work well with some of our less complex pizzas. For the more complex pizzas, the shiraz works well, and the Mt Coghill Pinot Noir goes well with The Shearer’s lamb pizza”.
Quality, fresh ingredients are number one at The Forge, and the team sources as much as possible from local suppliers. Fresh produce is sourced locally through Wilson’s Fruit and Vegetables, Istra (Daylesford) supplies the smallgoods, and the local butcher sources lamb direct from nearby farmers. One of the favourite ingredients at The Forge is the Meredith’s Dairy Goat Cheese.
The team at The Forge is quick to credit the region and its producers as being key to their success. “It’s great being from a region where so many quality ingredients are available locally. It is, in fact, our local suppliers that help deliver the exceptional quality and freshness we love,” Chris Matthews says. Evidently, the region is equally as supportive of the boys at The Forge and their quest to provide top quality, healthy, fresh and delicious pizzas for all. Lunch or dinner, dine-in or takeaway – The Forge Pizzeria is a must for Ballarat locals and visitors alike.