‘Rolling in the Dough’ using grant money to open Greenport pizzeria

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO Rolling in the Dough pizza truck owner Matt Michel (right) and his assistant Pat Sheridan at a Suffolk Times company party in 2011.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO
Rolling in the Dough pizza truck owner Matt Michel (right) and his assistant Pat Sheridan at a Suffolk Times company party in 2011.

The traveling local pizza truck Rolling in the Dough is now rich in more than just name.

On Tuesday, JPMorgan Chase announced the Greenport catering business had been selected from a pool of more than 35,000 companies nationwide to receive a $250,000 small-business grant called Mission Main Street. 

“I was shocked,” Rolling in Dough owner Matt Michel said Wednesday morning. “My friend [initially] told me about the grant and I thought, ‘Hey, it’s a long shot.’ So when they called me I was definitely shocked.”

Now armed with a quarter of a million dollars, Mr. Michel, 30, said he plans to use the grant money to open a 20-seat pizzeria in an undisclosed space in downtown Greenport. The space will also serve as a prep kitchen for his current pizza truck. In the next year, he may even be able to purchase a second vehicle.

Well-known across the twin forks for its thin-crust pizza, Rolling in Dough got its start in 2009 when Mr. Michel launched the roaming business from a vintage 1943 International Harvester K-6 pickup he retrofitted with a wood-fired brick oven.

Today, Rolling in the Dough has many fans across Eastern Long Island and has served pizza to public figures like Bill and Hillary Clinton and “The Barefoot Contessa” chef Ina Garten.

“I’d be nowhere without the people who have helped me along the way,” Mr. Michel said. “I feel like I’ve been very lucky with good press and I’ve been fortunate to meet great people. It just keeps coming, it seems like. And that’s great.”

ryoung@timesreview.com