EVO (Extra Virgin Oven) Pizzeria is the wood-fired dream of Matt McIntosh and Ricky Hacker. Matt and Ricky met while working in the illustrious kitchen at FIG in downtown Charleston in 2003. The pair spent the better part of a year forming the concept for a wood-fired pizza shop that would focus on local ingredients. In 2005 they flew the coop to start EVO.
The first incarnation was a mobile wood-fired pizza oven - in other words, a fancy trailer - that they used for catering. Turns out, people really like fancy trailer pizza. It became apparent that the concept was ready for a brick & mortar restaurant, and they found a perfect home on East Montague Avenue in North Charleston, part of the up-and-coming Park Circle area. In 2007, EVO Pizzeria fired up its ovens for the public, and hasn’t stopped since.
We come to work at EVO every day to bring fun, delicious food and drink to our community. We source locally and regionally because we’re proud to be here. We cook with love because we love to cook. And who doesn’t love pizza?
Matt McIntosh, Co-Founder
Matt hails from Decatur, IN. He got his culinary start in Charleston at Blossom Cafe in 1998, with a two year stint as a pastry chef. He went from there to McCrady’s, working banquets, before becoming the Head Artisan Baker at Normandy Farms (while also graduating Cum Laude from Johnson & Wales). While still at Normandy Farms, he started in the kitchen at FIG in 2003, where he met Ricky and developed the EVO concept. During this time, Matt also started Slow Food Charleston with Mike Lata and Celeste Albers, and studied wood fired oven building under the late Alan Scott. In 2005, the EVO mobile oven was born, and the rest is history.
Ricky Hacker, Co-Founder
Ricky came to Charleston by way of Delaware, where he started working in kitchens in 1997. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2001, and soon found himself in the Sous Chef role at FIG in 2003. There, he met Matt and developed the EVO concept. The mobile oven hit the road in 2005, and Ricky hasn’t looked back.
Blake McCormick, Chef
To say Blake “grew up” at EVO would be accurate, at least from a culinary standpoint. Originally from Massachusetts, Blake got a marketing degree from Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL. After nearly 5 years in that business, she relocated to Charleston looking for a change of pace. She found just that in the front-of-house operations at Maverick Southern Kitchens, where her interest in the kitchen was born. Her first kitchen job was with EVO, where she worked while attending culinary school at the Art Institute of Charleston. After graduation, she got a promotion, and has been running the kitchen at EVO ever since.
Abe Versprille, General Manager
Abe’s love for the food & bev biz bloomed from his first restaurant gig in high school. He stuck with the industry during his studies at Clemson, pursuing jobs that elevated his appreciation for quality in both food and service. Abe returned home to Charleston after Clemson and continued his restaurant work before moving to New York to take a General Manager role. Several years in the New York proved sufficient, and Abe came home again to find a flourishing local food scene. He put down professional roots at EVO, and resides in Summerville with his wife, Lindsey, and young daughter, Sawyer.