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Chef Vallery Markel & Erin Wilson

Co-owners, Val's Pizza

Val_and_erin_Val's_Pizza_©joe_vaughn

Val’s Pizza namesake Vallery Market got into the world of pizzamaking during a decade-long stint out West in Portland, first at the Neapolitan-inspired Oven and Shaker, and later running the whole show at the East Glisan Pizza Lounge.

Portland is also where Val fell in love with Sterling Heights native Erin Wilson. Finding themselves increasingly priced out of a gentrifying Portland, the pair moved back to Erin’s native Michigan to start a family in 2016.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the downtime from her sous chef job rekindled Val’s culinary love with pizza. She ordered a tabletop Ooni oven, and when it finally arrived, the couple began slinging pies out of their Old Redford home, selling them to friends and a growing number of followers on Instagram.

In the spring of 2021, Erin left her day job in the specialty candy and floral department at Plum Market to dedicate herself to Val’s Pizza full time, leading the front-of-house, marketing, and communications for the upstart pizza brand.

Word got out fast about Val’s Pizza. The demand required the tabletop oven to be upgraded to a MarraForni brick oven hitched to a trailer, and the humble home-based operation quickly morphed into a bona fide food business, popping up regularly at places around town until a more permanent brick-and-mortar situation arises.

In the meantime, find Val’s Pizza at FRAMEbar from February 9 (coincidentally National Pizza Day) through March 6 and follow them on Instagram: @valspizzadetroit