A few months ago, we introduced you to Noelle Hancock. Noelle is a resident here on St. John who, like many people living here on island, quit a very high paying job to live her dream in the Caribbean. Noelle, however, also happens to be a fantastic writer – she’s even a New York Times best selling author. Noelle shared her story with Cosmopolitan magazine and it quickly went viral. She even appeared on couple of morning talk shows. It was very cool.
Well today we’d like to tell you about another story Noelle just wrote, except this one isn’t about her experiences here on island. Instead it’s about another couple who quit their corporate jobs to open a pizza boat here in the Virgin Islands. It’s a pretty cool story (and their pizza happens to be delicious!). Check it out…
This Couple Dropped Everything to Open a Pizza Boat in the Caribbean – By Noelle Hancock
Sometimes you just need pizza.
It is a truth so universally acknowledged that entire corporations are dedicated to delivering it directly to your face. And those moments when you require it and it’s not readily available are very sad, indeed. It can lead to rash decisions—for instance, eating a piece out of the trash at 2 a.m. that you’d foolishly thrown away hours earlier.
A few years ago, Tara and Sasha Bouis had such a moment. They were anchored in their favorite bay near St. Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. After years of living in the islands, this had become their favorite place to watch the sunset. Everything was perfect, but one thing was missing: pizza.
At the time the couple was working on guest charter boats, sailing out to sea for weeks at a time, Sasha as the captain and Tara as the chef. They had just returned home and were too tired to cook or take a dinghy to shore to track down food. So they spent the night eating microwave popcorn and fantasizing about how great it would be if there were a pizzeria nearby on the water.
Thus was born the idea to build a pizzeria on a boat—despite the fact that they hadn’t heard of it being done before, and neither of them knew how to cook a pie. When pizza calls you, you must answer.
“Pizza speaks to everybody,” said Tara, who is 32 and beautiful in a way that might be intimidating were it not for her sunny, disarming smile. “Food trucks had become a part of everyday life—food boats had not. We knew that the concept was strange but thought it could work, because the food is very recognizable.”
It was just another whimsical turn in the couple’s career path. Just 10 years ago, Sasha, now 38, was an MIT graduate toiling away in a cubicle at Standard & Poors, where he worked as a computer programmer for five years. “I thought I was living the dream but quickly got tired of it,” he explained. His lunch became a means of escape. “I was walking farther and farther away from my office on my lunch break, and I walked past a sailing school and thought, I wonder if I could get a job there?” He could, and he did. When Sasha was growing up, his father taught him to sail on Long Island, and he also sailed competitively while at MIT.
And for those of you who missed Noelle’s story the first time, click here to read all about how she quit her high paying job and moved to St. John.