Robert Garvey, a New York native, has been an entrepreneur, business owner, playwright,
teacher and most recently, certified Pizzaioli from the Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli.
Garvey’s interest in entrepreneurship sparked at a young age. After a year in school, Garvey left
Cooper Union, one of the most prestigious engineering schools in the U.S., to take advantage of
the burgeoning produce market by purchasing the grocery store he worked in during his youth.
While the venture was short lived, Garvey quickly pivoted and built a make shift food cart off of
his then girlfriend’s father’s truck and began selling hand crafted hotdogs in front of CBGB
every weekend. The hotdogs, which featured caramelized onions that Garvey prepared daily,
caught the attention of The Ramones, Patti Smith and the owner of CBGB himself who is
quoted stating,“I wish I had thought of this.”
Going back to school, Garvey graduated from a Merchant Marine Academy and through his
coursework and voyages around the world, discovered an interest in playwriting. This led him
to take a class at The New School for Social Research in New York City where he met Dana
Hokin, who would become his wife. His passion for writing led Garvey to earn his Masters in
Playwriting from Carnegie Melon University and has since written several plays and taught
numerous classes throughout Chicago Public Schools.
For the past twenty years, Garvey applied his marine engineering skills and managed operations
and a small airline for the BitterEnd Yacht Club in the British Virgin Islands, alongside his wife
Dana. While there he also opened a pizza restaurant on the resort grounds.
Garvey’s love for pizza spans back as far as he can remember. As a young boy in the streets of
New York, pizza was everywhere and each slice was as unique as the next. After moving to
Chicago, Garvey became obsessed with creating the perfect pizza. This obsession took him on a
15 year journey of testing his signature pizza recipes on friends and family alike from his Gold
Now, with a secret dough recipe affectionately dubbed, “Za Dough,” at the ready, Garvey and
wife Dana have founded Robert’s Pizza Company to share their handcrafted artisanal pies with