Big Bon family grows into Bodega
By Sophie Leopold
The new year will mark the commencement of another adventure for a local foodie family. In a few short months, the founders of Big Bon Pizza will be opening the doors to customers at Big Bon Bodega. The mobile pizza truck purveyors are in the process of grounding their business to a brick and mortar restaurant.
Known throughout the community for their fresh wood-fired pizza on wheels, Kay and Anna Heritage are about to give Savannah a fresh taste experience in the Big Bon name. Developed around the concept of a neighborhood corner market, the team hopes to transform the corner of 37th and Bull into a home away from for anyone in the area.
Like the truck, the Bodega’s food will be centered around the fast and hot heat of a large wood-burning oven. Kay Heritage describes the chief concept of the restaurant as “fire born,” with the oven being the anchor to their fare. They plan to use this primitive cooking method as a way to serve food that is earthy, humble and approachable. The Bodega will bring a version of the woodfired Montreal bagel south, giving Savannah the chance to savor their spin on the Canadian specialty. Those bagels are the foundation for a menu that extends to bagel sandwiches, wood-fired baked goods, salads, beverages and prepared foods to pick up and take along the way. The Bodega motto is “torch it,” whether the item is a brownie, pie, or veggie. The restaurant also encompasses a minimarket, with everything from Forsyth Park picnicking essentials to your favorite gum or toothbrush.
“We hope to be that familiar corner market back home,” said Kay Heritage. “Everyone feels welcome. The word restaurant is derived from ‘restoring the soul.’ We hope to do that using food as the vehicle. Come in hungry, leave refreshed to move on.”
Upon opening the Bodega will be a daytime affair, but sights are set to expand hours down the road. The intimate space is versatile, allowing for a range in event possibilities. The team envisions the Bodega transforming into a future evening venue for art and music.
The Big Bon team values family as a mindset and recognizes how much of the community, especially SCAD students, are far away from home. One of the Bodega’s goals is to provide a fixed place for anyone to come in and feel like they belong, with hugs and smiles aplenty. They have also strategized the menu with the college student’s dollar in mind to make hearty meals affordable to all.
Big Bon’s core intention is to offer skills along with food. The hands-on business school approach to running a pizza truck will continue to drive work at the Bodega. With more time and capacity to bring others into the team, the Bodega gives greater opportunity to fulfill their mission.
“We have to remember to be inspired, but not imitative,” said Heritage. “Uniquely ours and no one else’s.
Kay Heritage’s background lies in Korea, but the couple make a living crafting Neapolitan pizza and are now evoking Montreal with bagels. The Big Bon flavor profile is composed of a variety of cultural influences, but for Kay Heritage, that experience comes down to originality. While inspiration for the Bodega has been drawn from all over the map, the one place they want to reflect in authenticity is Savannah. Through the Bodega the founders are able to define what it means to be a bagel shop in the Starland District.