BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN) — Hapa Pizza is part of the growing food scene in Beaverton, known for cooking up creative pies like Pho pizza or Kalua pork pizza.
For owners Natalie and Aaron Truong, getting to this point feels like a dream.
“It’s honestly a bit surreal,” Aaron told KOIN 6 News. “We think back on our journey and we think back on all the evolutions, the stages we’ve been through. From this being an experimental side thing we do on the weekends to becoming a stall at a big farmers market to moving into our first brick and mortar.”
They’ve been in their space less than a year and loyal customers are already showing their love. Now, the Truongs have a way for fans to wear their support.
“We originally just printed out shirts for us and our employees to wear but then we’ve often gotten requests from people like ‘Hey are you gonna make some Hapa Pizza merch at some point?'” Aaron said. “We were like, who would want to wear our stuff? But it seems like there’s enough people out there interested in what we’re doing and, like, the little graphics we have in our shop.”
Natalie said their friend Stephanie Choi designed the “You’ll always Hapa Pizza my heart” mural that’s in their shop along with a shirt that reads, “All We Knead is Love,” which she said Aaron coined.
With their new line of shirts and tote bags is all because of their team, she said. “We are surrounded by really creative people and as people ask for things, we try to accomodate.”
Their name, Hapa Pizza, comes from a Hawaiian word meaning half or mixed.
“A lot of times people that are half Hawaiian, half Asian or half white, we kind of refer to as ‘hapa,'” Aaron said, “so it seemed like a perfect description of what we’re doing — kind of blending Asian cuisine with Italian cuisine. It’s an Asian fusion pizza.”
Over the next few months Natalie and Aaron said they are bringing back some popular flavors — Massaman curry pizza, Thai peanut sauce pizza and Okonomiyaki pizza, which has bonito flakes that dance on the pizza when it comes fresh out of the oven.
And around the holidays they plan to have classes to help people learn how to perfect their own pizzas at home.