By Starrla Cray
MONTROSE, WAVERLY, MN When Evie Hill and Sarah Larson opened their new pizza restaurant at 330 Nelson Blvd. in Montrose, they decided to call it “Fat Matt’s Firehouse Pizza.”
“It’s kind of an inside joke,” Larson laughed, explaining that it’s named after her husband, Matt, who is a firefighter in Waverly.
One of the pizzas on the menu, “Fat Matt’s Delight,” also has a humorous twist.
“It has onions and mushrooms on it, which Matt hates,” Larson explained.
The entire restaurant has a firefighter theme, and area firefighters who stop by and present a valid ID receive a 10 percent discount.
Choosing what to order can be a fun task, with unique pizzas like bacon cheeseburger, buffalo bleu, and barbecue chicken, as well as traditional options.
“Our most popular pizza is the chicken alfredo,” Larson said. “Evie uses her homemade alfredo sauce.”
Chicken alfredo is also available as a pasta, along with homemade lasagna, and spaghetti with meatballs.
“I think our ingredients are a step up,” Larson said.
Both Larson and Hill have several years of experience in the restaurant business, and they currently co-own Waverly Café and Catering.
Larson, who grew up in the Twin Cities, joined the Army after high school. Later on, she worked as a sales representative and waitress.
In 2004, she moved to Waverly, and soon began working for Hill at Waverly Café.
“Pretty soon, I became the manager over there. Then, Evie and I became business partners,” Larson said.
Before coming to Waverly Café, Hill had been a restaurant owner in Waconia. She’s also done bartending, cooking, and catering.
Both Hill and Larson enjoy working with food, and they’re always looking for ways to improve their business. Recently, they started doing a little bit of delivery at Waverly Café for Sunday football games.
“We tossed out the idea of having pizza at the café, too,” Larson said.
Then, when the opportunity came to have a separate pizza restaurant in the former Jimmy’s Pizza building in Montrose, it seemed like a perfect fit.
“In the process, we gave eight more people a job,” Hill said.
Operating two restaurants is “a little to juggle,” according to Larson.
“We kind of expected that,” she said. “It’s fun to have a challenge.”
About 70 percent of the business at Fat Matt’s is delivery. There are also two tables in the restaurant for a cozy dining experience.
Delivery is available to Montrose, Watertown, Waverly, and Howard Lake.
Fat Matt’s is open Monday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 4 to 11 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.
For more information or to place a carryout or delivery order, call (763) 675-7400.