Taking their pizza concept from its humble beginnings in a Sixth Street food truck a decade ago to a multi-million-dollar five-location institution in Austin, the brothers at the helm of Via 313 put heart and soul into their Detroit-style pizzas.
This week, they celebrated a new milestone: Pizzeria of the Year, as recognized by Pizza Today, the publication for all things pies.
From a glowing story in the August 2020 issue of Pizza Today:
"The Hunt brothers have amassed an incredible following in Austin and beyond for the Detroit pizza they perfected 10 years ago, at a time when the only likely place you could find Detroit-style pizza was in the Motor City. With three brick-and-mortar locations and two permanently placed pizza trailers, Via 313 crushes annual sales at more than $12 million and consistently ranks as one of the hottest pizzerias in the country. This year, Via 313 receives a new distinction as Pizza Today's 2020 Pizzeria of the Year."
A twist on traditional pies, Via 313 brings a taste of Detroit-style pizza to Austin with toppings on the dough under a layer of cheese and topped with marinara.
What started off as a food trailer in 2011 has since prospered into five different locations for the successful business—three restaurants and two trailers.
Via 313 is owned by brothers Brandon and Zane Hunt, who had the dream of turning the city of Austin on to a different kind of pizza, and they've done just that.
- How pizza and a park led to a pandemic first date - austonia ›
- Restaurants, bars, breweries scramble to reinvent themselves to get ... ›
- Still no word from Austin's Via 313 management as pizzeria employees continue to protest - austonia ›
For years Austin has been one of the top 5 places to live in the U.S., according to an annual ranking from U.S. News and World Report. But this year, Austin dropped out of the top 10.
The publication ranked Austin at No. 13, down from No. 5 last year, No. 3 in 2020 and No. 1 in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Cities ranking in the top this year were No. 1 Huntsville, Alabama, No. 2 Colorado Springs and No. 3 Green Bay, Wisconsin.
So why did it rank lower this year?
The hot housing market is part of the reason. The report states "Austin offers a lower value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income."
Still, Austin was the highest-ranked Texas city on the list. Adding to its desirability are its live music capital roots and the growing tech scene. The next Texas area on the list was Dallas-Fort Worth coming in at No. 32.
U.S. News says it analyzed 150 metro areas in the U.S. to make the list based on the quality of life, the job market, the value of living there and people's desire to live there.
- Austin named best city in Texas on U.S. News Best Places to Live ... ›
- Austin drops in WalletHub's 2021 Happiest Places to Live study ... ›
- Austin ranks in best cities for veteran to live in the U.S. - austonia ›
- Austin vs. Houston: what Texas city is best to live in? - austonia ›
- Top 5 in-demand neighborhoods in the Austin metro - austonia ›
Austin parents and grocery store shelves are feeling the effects of a nationwide baby formula shortage.
Caused mostly by a February recall due to contamination issues, followed by the Abbott Nutrition factory closure in Michigan, the shortage has left Austin shelves barren. However, earlier this week, U.S. officials announced a plan with the facility to restart production.
In the meantime, local parents in crisis have turned toward the Mother’s Milk Bank to keep their babies fed.
HEB on East 7th has been picked clean of formula and is limiting purchases. (Laura Figi/Austonia)
The milk bank—which takes donations from lactating mothers and dispenses milk to babies in the NICU—has been helping feed upwards of 30 families in need as the formula supply tightens.
According to the bank’s executive director Kim Updegrove, Mother’s Milk Bank has seen an uptick in calls from parents with healthy babies in need of help since the shortage began.
“We aren't used to hearing from families with healthy infants,” Updegrove said. “They're typically very upset, angry, frustrated, sobbing—it's scary to not be able to feed your infants. So in the past few weeks, those calls have been significantly increasing.”
Mothers are only able to donate if they are within a year postpartum, so Updegrove said they are constantly bringing on and retiring donors. While donors had been on a 30% decline leftover from 2021 when the shortage began, Updegrove said the shortage has led to mass community interest and more than 90 prospective donors in just the past few days.
“We and other milk banks are experiencing significant interest from the community—becoming milk donors and helping to turn around this crisis,” Updegrove said. “Every infant needs to be fed, every one of us can relate to that need, and we need to make sure as a community that it happens.”
Whole Foods downtown was also cleaned out of typical formula. (Laura Figi/Austonia)
While you may still be able to find formula at places like Whole Foods—which currently has goat milk, soy and plant-based formula in stock—Updegrove said it might not be what a baby needs.
Updegrove said it is best to buy types that say “infant formula,” as they are FDA approved and will provide the nutrients, vitamins and minerals a baby needs. Plant-based, homemade, non-cow's milk or diluting formula may not provide the same nutritional value.
As the community navigates the shortage, Updegrove said the most important way to help out is to not panic buy or stockpile.
“This is a crisis for families,” Updegrove said. “This is the time for the community to gather together and figure out what everyone can do to help families with young infants.”