Winter Garden residents have a new pizza joint in town.
Locals gathered Jan. 3 for the grand-opening celebration of 1000 Degrees Pizza at 13599 W. Colonial Drive. Winter Garden’s newest restaurant specializes in serving personalized, build-your-own Neapolitan pizzas that have been fired up to a crisp in a 1,000-degree brick oven. Customers can choose from a variety of toppings, sauces and styles.
“It’s fast-casual pizza place,” said owner Matthew Peach. “You go through the line, you pick the toppings you want, and the sauce you want and then they build it to your liking. Then they put it in the oven and it (cooks for) about 75 seconds, and the pizza is done.”
Although customers have the option to build their own pizzas, they also can choose from a menu of signature creations.
The Winter Garden 1000 Degrees Pizza is Peach’s second franchise location. He opened his first in Oviedo and decided to open the Winter Garden location after seeing the first’s success.
“A lot of people heard about the Oviedo (1000 Degrees Pizza) … and wished they had one over here, so that’s why we opened it (in Winter Garden),” Peach said.
Opening 1000 Degrees Pizza isn’t Peach’s first experience running a business. Peach’s story of becoming a self-made entrepreneur starts with humble beginnings. About 28 years ago, Peach, 53, was working as a custodian sweeping up the streets of Walt Disney World. He eventually opened his own event-cleaning company, Extreme Clean, that he and his wife, Caroline, ran for about 15 years, he said.
“We … cleaned (up after) all the NASCAR races throughout the country,” Peach said, adding that his company expanded to include cleaning up after other events. “We cleaned a lot of stadiums and state fairs — the New York State Fair, Virginia State Fair, Florida State Fair — and all these different fairs around the country.”
The Peaches sold their cleaning company last year. In addition to the cleaning company, they also owned a number of MAACO Collision Repair & Auto Painting shops. At one point, they owned about 20 different MAACO locations throughout the country. They ran their MAACO businesses — while simultaneously running the cleaning company — for about 10 years. They sold off most of their MAACO locations but still own and operate one MAACO location in Orlando, Peach said.
Peach’s success in business came after long years of hard work.
“I’m just a high-school graduate,” Peach said. “College is good, I think, and people should go if they could go. I just never had the opportunity to go. I kind of learned everything from hard knocks, basically. You can learn anything you want to learn if you set your mind to it.”