Story and Photo by Amy Vervoot

There’s pizza, and then there’s pizza from a wood-fired oven. The flavour that develops on the stone hearth is incomparable—the heat cooks deeply and quickly, sealing in freshness with an aroma that warms the soul.

Thunder Bay has been familiar with Both Hands Bread and Derek Luchesse’s pizza at the Thunder Bay Country Market for more than a decade, and now we can enjoy this artisan pizza on a more regular basis with the opening of Both Hands Wood-Fired Pizzeria and Bakery on the corner of Park Avenue and Algoma Street. The location is home to a beautiful dome shaped wood-fired oven—built by Luchesse, an engineering feat requiring both skill and patience—with a dining room furnished with his hand built chairs. His sourdough pizza dough is shaped by hand, each one made and fired with the same specialized care.

From flour to cheese all ingredients are locally sourced from partnerships with farmers—a philosophy that’s been with Both Hands since conception. As their menu evolves with the new location and clientele, the consistency is in the simple, high quality food. Fresh local greens make up the pesto, with toppings from farm to table filled with flavour and baked with stone and fire—food doesn’t get much better than this.

Luchesse’s artisan breads, which have been coveted at the market for years, are baked on Thursdays and Saturdays, with cookies and various treats as time allows. The new location allows Luchesse a more balanced family life, while being able to offer more wood-fire baked goods. It’s definitely a win for everyone.

Both Hands Wood-Fired Pizzeria and Bakery is located at 297 Park Avenue, at Algoma Street, and open Thursdays–Sundays from 11 am to 7 pm. Call 286-4263 of find them on Facebook for more information.