Ryan Jordan loves pizza. Big deal right? You love pizza, I love pizza, your mom loves pizza. But Jordan says he really, really, really loves pizza. His whole family does. He and all five of his siblings worked in the same Brainerd area pizzeria growing up, and then he moved to New York City, ostensibly to become a comedy writer but can you guess what he got obsessed with instead?
"Of course out there there is so much amazing pizza and so many different pizza personalities and pizza characters and pizza tours. I was just nerding out over the dough process and fell in love with the idea that every pizza can be better every time."
And while comedy writing went pretty good, and nerding out over pizza is always good, Jordan's partner was working in the family court system in New York City, a porthole into other people's lives that aren't always going so good. Thanks to this porthole, Jordan developed a deep and abiding interest in young adults who maybe didn't have it as good as he does. In their personal lives, in the system, and in their struggles.
"I'm a middle class white man and if I lost my job tomorrow it would be hard to get another one. And I have a lot of contacts and things. It would take a while. If I'm a twenty-year-old with two kids and no work experience or professional contacts, it's just impossible."
The seemingly endless impossibilities facing young adults started to make him fairly infuriated. What to do?
Make the world a better place, of course.
Through "radical hospitality, boundless generosity and unwavering grace." Not a big deal, right?
Sounds like a big deal, until you look at it through the lens of a simple pizza pie.
The outer rim of a pizza is colloquially called "the bones," and Jordan says it's his favorite part of a pizza pie. It's his favorite part because it's the most weird, and most beautiful part. He says there's great beauty in the margins. In loving the weird parts.
So if a pizzeria that aims both to serve killer Neopolitan pizza, while at the same time training and providing jobs for at risk young adults sounds weird to you, then just think of this idea as that much more to love.
"I think if more businesses would accommodate young people in a more patient, graceful way, it would be very helpful for the world also for the businesses themselves," he says. Jordan emphasizes that he won't be doing any social service work at Bones, but working with existing non-profit organizations to do job placements.
Bones isn't open yet. There's a Kickstarter. He wants to open in south Minneapolis and maybe on Chicago above 30th, an area he thinks is underserved for good food.
There are seven days to go in the campaign, and it's notable that the incentives are no ordinary ones. Jordan says he's hoping to create lifelong relationships with his. For instance, for $100, he will meet you anywhere in Minneapolis and clean out the garbage in your car. When was the last time any of your friends did that for you? When was the last time you did it for yourself? What even is that on the floor mat? Eeew.
Here's the Kickstarter. There are seven days left in the campaign: