September 26, 2022 at 2:57 p.m.

Partying with pizza

Winghaven Pizza Farm celebrates five years in business
The Grover siblings, Rob and Sarah, stand outside their pizza farm Sept. 14 near Galesville, Wisconsin. The siblings run an outdoor pizza venue with Rob’s business partner, Greg Roskos. PHOTO BY ABBY WIEDMEYER
The Grover siblings, Rob and Sarah, stand outside their pizza farm Sept. 14 near Galesville, Wisconsin. The siblings run an outdoor pizza venue with Rob’s business partner, Greg Roskos. PHOTO BY ABBY WIEDMEYER

By Abby [email protected] | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

GALESVILLE, Wis. – Among the emerging craft beer and wine scene developing through southern Trempealeau County sits Winghaven Pizza Farm. The land that the Grover family claimed in 1852 near Galesville has seen a lot of changes during the last 170 years, most recently emerging as a rural venue to offer pizza.
Rob Grover, along with business partner and friend Greg Roskos, opened Winghaven Pizza Farm in 2017 as a way to utilize the land that was so dear to the Grover family and honor the love of food that Roskos’ late mother instilled in him. This combination produced a special place where local residents can enjoy a stone-fired pizza, live music, drinks and a sense of community.
“With our heritage and knowing that there are so many farmers that have long legacies, we really wanted to be a part of supporting that,” Grover said. “To support the people in our community (who) have supported us is important.”
Winghaven cooks homemade, stone-fired pizzas in a food truck on the property. On a busy night, Grover and Roskos, along with their staff which includes Grover’s sister, Sarah, will cook as many as 130 pizzas and host close to 300 people.
Recipes for the pizzas are developed by Roskos and Sarah. During a three-day weekend, the farm will typically go through 75 pounds of cheese. They use a three-cheese blend and mozzarella.
“We are pretty committed to getting the cheese from Wisconsin if we can,” Grover said. “We are kind of chasing prices right now like a lot of people.”
The top selling pizza is what they refer to as the local classic, which includes pepperoni, sausage, green peppers and mushrooms. The group will also have specialty pizzas on occasion, such as the loaded mac and cheese pizza which is the September feature. Toppings include macaroni and cheese, pulled pork and barbecue sauce.
“We love our specialty pizzas,” Grover said. “But, we also know that especially in a rural area, you need the every-man’s pizza.”
Pizzas are cooked in a commercial food trailer that houses five stations. A garlic butter is brushed on the crust before moving to the pizza maker, who assembles the sauce and toppings. Next, the pizza is put in an electric stone oven to bake. Baking takes about three minutes. Once finished, the expediter boxes the pizza and announces the name of the customer to come pick it up.
The oven cooks the 14-inch pizzas at 650 degrees.
“It makes a really crispy, flaky crust,” Grover said. “We really like it. The electric oven is nice because it doesn’t put off any smoke.”
Guests eat on picnic tables in the renovated, three-sided barn and listen to a live band while they wait for their orders. They can enjoy drinks from the bar and fresh cheese curds from Ellsworth Creamery while they wait.
A lot of times, as many as 50 people show up at once when they open at 4 p.m. This sometimes creates over an hour wait for pizza.
“That’s why we have a band and a bar,” Grover said. “We’re not fast food, but it is good food and a great experience.”
Grover said that part of the experience people enjoy is the scenic farmland.
“It’s been a lot of dairy farmers that have held these fields together through generations,” Grover said. “One of the things that make people want to come out here is we’ve held on to our rural character and that wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for local dairy farmers.”
The connection to the dairy industry is also evident when neighboring farmers come for a pizza after chores. Grover said he considers dairy farmers to be partners in the pizza business.
“Without dairy farmers putting out a consistent product that people want to use, and having proximity to those products, we wouldn’t have a business,” Grover said. “We’re a pizza farm not a potato soup farm.”
Grover said purchasing trends of consumers in his area have evolved to supporting more local vendors over the last couple years.
“The impulse to support local got so intense when (the coronavirus pandemic) hit,” Grover said. “People more than ever want a story and to know where their food comes from.”
Grover and Roskos hope to increase production as demand increases. Possibilities include upgrading the food trailer to accommodate cooking more pizzas. They also hope to add more frozen ice cream products and diversify the cheese curd flavors.


You must login to comment.

Top Stories

Today's Edition



27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

To Submit an Event Sign in first

Today's Events

sep 23, 2023 @ 9:00am