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West End pizza joint contributing more to Billings than just great pies

Posted at 2:08 PM, Nov 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-05 18:25:26-05

BILLINGS – Pizza is what Evan Joda knows best.

He’s been in the industry since he was 16 years old and has taken all his knowledge and trade secrets to start his own successful pizza restaurant in Billings.

Pie Guys has been open for six years and makes some of the best pizza in Billings, with a focus on Montana-made ingredients.

Joda keeps his own sourdough starter, an effortful process that sets his pies apart. Joda said that in the summer when the restaurant is warmer and the yeast grows more rapidly, the flavor of his crusts change ever so subtlely. Every Pie Guys crust is made in-house fresh daily.

But it is not just great pizza that sets Pie Guys apart. In recent months, Joda has upped the focus on community by using pizza to benefit worthwhile causes in the community.

The Pie It Forward promotion started in June when Joda lost a friend and wanted to find a way to support his family in the wake of the tragedy.

Pie Guys set one day a month aside to benefit a worthy local cause. Joda selects his causes from the submissions of community members, usually benefitting a GoFundMe page of a local family in need.

As Joda says, the event has already found a foothold in the community and is worth the effort to make it a success.

“At the end of the night, when got done after just getting rocked all day and all night, we all felt really good about it too. It was something I had never seen before and so after that we decided to just keep it going… A few of my employees have worked off the clock and donated their time so that I don’t have to take their labor out,” said Joda.

This month’s cause is slightly different for Pie it Forward. This month, all funds raised go towards the Haley Hutzenbiler Memorial Scholarship Fund. The scholarship fund aims to support those going into elementary education, which was Hutzenbiler’s passion before she was killed in a car accident in September.

This Sunday, if you find yourself hungry, head online and order a pizza from Pie Guys. You will be supporting a great cause and get a great pizza for your support.

If you’re hungry but still want to support the cause, head online to efbps.org to make a donation to the Haley Hutzenbiler Memorial Scholarship fund.

Reporting by Connor Pregizer for MTN News