“From Avocation To Vocation: How I Turned My Hobby Into A Career” With Nick Bogacz of Caliente Pizza & Draft House

An interview with Phil La Duke

Phil La Duke
Authority Magazine
Published in
8 min readOct 20, 2019

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…The second thing I wish someone told me is how important communicating with your team is. When we had one or two stores, we could get away with not having flawless communication. When we started to expand and our number of employees kept rising, I knew that was going to have to change. Now we have weekly meetings with our general managers and monthly meetings with our entire management team.

As a part of our series about entrepreneurs who transformed something they did for fun into a full-time career, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nick Bogacz, the President/Founder of Caliente Pizza & Draft House. Nick founded Caliente in 2012 and has since expanded to five locations throughout the Greater Pittsburgh Area, winning a multitude of awards along the way. After beginning his journey in the pizza industry as a delivery driver over twenty years ago, Nick has since become a World Pizza Champion, member of the World Pizza Team, and successful author.

Thank you so much for doing this with us Nick! Can you tell us a bit about your “childhood backstory”?

Growing up with three younger brothers, it was always about sports in my house. There was a youth foundation right by our house, and I would coach my brothers there in whatever sports they were playing, which I think was the beginning of my delve into a leadership role. Any time we celebrated an accomplishment of mine or my brothers’, it was always with pizza. Naturally, when I wasn’t happy with my tips from working at the car wash, I decided to start delivering pizzas.

What was the catalyst from transforming your hobby or something you love into a business? Can you share the story of your “ah ha” moment with us?

When I first started working in the pizza kitchen, I almost immediately fell in love with the team atmosphere. The fast-paced atmosphere was…

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Phil La Duke
Authority Magazine

Author of “I Know My Shoes Are Untied. Mind Your Own Business”, “Lone Gunman. Rewriting the Handbook on Workplace Violence Prevention”, and “Blood on my hands