Skip to Content
Food & Drink

A to Z, the Region’s Top Pizza Farm, Is Calling It Quits

Don't worry: A to Z's CSA, bakery, and private dining will remain open along the bluffs of Stockholm, Wisconsin.

When A to Z Produce & Bakery debuted its pizza night in 1998, the concept—DIY picnicking on a working 80-acre farm in bucolic Stockholm, Wisconsin, with scratch wood-fired pizzas available—wasn't an immediate hit.

"We had no idea what we were getting into," co-owner Ted Fisher remembers. "When we started it was 30 to 40 people a night, and what really changed it was the internet—high-tech word of mouth. It's been a good run, and a lot of people over the years."

Fisher and co-owner Robbi Bannen announced, apparently last year, that A to Z's pizza farm era is over. The following message appears on their website under the header, "It's Just Time."

When we started this pizza thing in 1998 we had no idea where it was going. More than a few people thought we were crazy. We had no idea people would come from far and wide: no idea of the friendships that would be forged, no idea that so many people would “pop the question” in our fields, no idea that that this piece of hallowed ground would reach so many hearts. But what we did know was that delicious food was good for what ails you. Our love of farming and cooking was happily married at that oven. Our love of place allowed us to share that with all of you over these many years. And our love of family has expanded the meaning of that word in so many ways. We thank you all. Each and every one of you. All of this makes it hard to bring Pizza Nights to an end. But, it’s just time.

We asked Fisher for specifics early Thursday, but the humble pizza farmer politely declined. A to Z's CSA program, on-site bakery, and reservation-required private dinners will remain on the farm, which is located just over and hour from the Twin Cities.

"Closing a small business is a hard thing, and it's also kind of complicated," he says. "I just don't think we want to get into a public discussion of all the reasons. We'll leave it to what we wrote on the website." 

It's hard to overstate what a celebrated summertime tradition the farm-fresh pizza destination had become. WCCO described A to Z as "the granddaddy of the pizza farms"; Twin Cities Daily Planet called it "Wisconsin's worst-kept secret"; the New York Times even wrote that "many other farmers credit [Fisher and Bannen] as local pioneers." By 2014, A to Z was churning out 300 pizzas per night during its very limited summer hours, as reported in this glowing Pioneer Press review.

You might have had to park a block away on a dirt road, but kiddos would delight at the grazing animals while grownups chomped on stupendous pizzas made with ingredients grown on-site. A to Z only sold 'za and adult beverages, with no plates, utensils, or seating available—the pizza farm adventure was mostly up to you.

We're sad to see A to Z go (and curious about those "complicated reasons"...), but other regional pizza farms do exist. Click here to read a recent roundup from Eater Twin Cities.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Racket

Two Harbors Man at Center of Alleged $46M Renewable Energy Swindle

Plus charges filed against alleged Nudieland killer, Icehouse faces eviction, and students arrested for peaceful protesting in today's Flyover news roundup.

April 23, 2024

It’s Your Very Last Complete Concert Calendar for April 2024: April 23-29

Pretty much all the live music you can catch in the Twin Cities this week.

April 23, 2024

There Were Too Many People at the Waxahatchee Show!

This was not the ideal way to experience the mild turmoil of Katie Crutchfield's country-rock.

April 23, 2024

Everyone Is Being Super Normal About Isra Hirsi’s Arrest

Plus RIP Sammy McDowell, MN's new Supreme Court judges, and a Best Buy throwback in today's Flyover news roundup.

April 22, 2024