Wise Pies

Wise Pies charts the journey of a New Mexico pizza brand that has risen from local favorite to a national sensation, baking up a tale of grass-roots growth, unique flavors, and a commitment to wholesome, family-friendly fare.


Mark Stens Land

9/25/20224 min read

"Wise Pies: The Rise of a New Mexico Frozen Pizza Empire"

Let's turn the oven on and dial the story back to 2014, in Albuquerque's North Valley, where Wise Pies started as a humble pie shop with a vision. Fast forward through a whirlwind of growth and what do you get? A local legend that's taken the frozen pizza world by storm, landing in 40 states and claiming shelf space in nearly 4,000 stores.

In a tale as tantalizing as their Hatch green chile topping, Wise Pies has become a New Mexico heavyweight, duking it out in the frozen food aisle with giants like Tombstone and Red Baron. It’s a David and Goliath story, with pizza.

Season Chavez, the president of Wise Choice Foods, steers this ship with a mix of grit and grace. She recounts the intimidating landscape of big food giants with their deep pockets and strategic might, but Wise Pies’ journey is seasoned with the kind of grass-roots growth that would make any underdog supporter’s heart swell.

It’s a narrative of patience and persistence, cooking up pizzas and gathering feedback, one slice at a time. Then came the game-changer: a pivot to retail that catapulted them from local secret to national phenomenon, with their Hatch green chile pizza leading the charge.

Enter COVID-19, and Wise Pies seized the moment, launching into Kroger stores nationwide. But it wasn’t just the sales that soared—it was the feedback, the kind that makes a company know they’ve hit gold.

Wise Pies isn’t just resting on their laurels, though. With calzones and pizza bites expanding their repertoire, and a marinara sauce set to paint grocery store shelves with their brand, they're crafting a legacy that goes beyond the crust. And let's not forget the launch on QVC, tapping into the hearts (and stomachs) of moms everywhere, with wholesome pizzas that don't cut corners on health or taste.

Season Chavez's voice rings clear—a single mom’s perspective, striving for the balance between health and convenience, creating products that moms endorse and kids devour.

Wise Pies isn’t just making pizza; they're crafting a story of New Mexican pride, one where green chili marinara and spicy sauces are characters as compelling as the people behind them. And hey, when it's about pizza that parents and kids can agree on, that’s a story with a flavor that everyone can savor.

Transform Your Pizza Box into a Food Dehydrator (AKA: Pizza Flakes Maker)

Stop throwing away produce!

Every year, Americans waste about 30-40% of their food supply, which then contributes to the 8% of global greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Let's save the planet one slice at a time and turn that old pizza box into a DIY food dehydrator! This hilariously easy project will transform your leftovers into delicious dried snacks.


- 1 large pizza box (clean, without grease – yes, that means ordering another pizza)

- Aluminum foil (to make it shiny like your future)

- Plastic wrap (because who doesn't love plastic?)

- Black construction paper (very goth, very functional)

- A utility knife or scissors (sharp objects: handle with care!)

- Tape (the universal fixer of all things)

- A small fan (optional, if you want to go high-tech)

- Wooden dowels or skewers (also optional, but let’s get fancy)

- Mesh or cheesecloth (to keep it all in place)


1. Prepare the Pizza Box:

Open that pizza box and line the inside with aluminum foil, shiny side up. This will reflect heat and make your box look like a science experiment. Cover the bottom of the box with black construction paper. This will absorb heat and add to the mystery.

2. Create a Window:

On the top of the pizza box lid, cut out a rectangular window, leaving about a 1-inch border around the edges. Make it artsy. Cover the window with plastic wrap and secure it with tape. This will allow sunlight in and create a greenhouse effect. Now your pizza box is officially smarter than your last smartphone.

3. Create Air Vents:

Cut small air vents on the sides of the pizza box to allow for airflow. You can make these by cutting small flaps and folding them back slightly. These vents are like your dehydrator’s nostrils.

4. Optional: Add a Fan:

If you have a small fan, place it near the air vents to enhance airflow. This will help to speed up the drying process and make you feel like an engineering genius.

5. Create Racks:

If you have wooden dowels or skewers, create racks to hold your food. Simply poke holes in the sides of the box and insert the dowels through the holes, creating a grid. Now it’s looking like a mini barbecue. Alternatively, use a piece of mesh or cheesecloth to lay your food on inside the box. It’s like a hammock for your snacks.

6. Place Your Food:

Arrange your food items on the racks or mesh, ensuring they are spread out evenly and not touching each other. Give them space to breathe – it’s yoga for your veggies.

7. Position Your Dehydrator:

Place the pizza box dehydrator in a sunny spot outside. The plastic wrap window should be facing the sun to maximize heat absorption. Your neighbors will be jealous of your eco-friendly contraption.

8. Monitor and Rotate:

Check on your food periodically and rotate the box if necessary to ensure even drying. You’re basically a helicopter parent for dehydrated snacks. Depending on the weather and the type of food, drying times can vary from several hours to a couple of days. Patience, grasshopper.

Dehydrating Specific Foods:

Red and Green Chiles:

Preparation: Wash and dry the chiles. Slice them into rings or halves, removing seeds if desired. Fun fact: Spicy foods can increase your metabolism by up to 8%! Drying Time: Chiles typically take 1-2 days to dry completely. They should be brittle and break easily when fully dehydrated.


Preparation: Wash and dry the tomatoes. Slice them into ¼ inch thick slices or cut cherry tomatoes in half. Did you know tomatoes are technically a fruit? Mind blown. Drying Time: Tomatoes can take 1-3 days to dry. They should be leathery and pliable when done.

Popular Herbs (e.g., Basil, Oregano, Thyme):

Preparation: Rinse herbs and pat dry. Remove leaves from stems if they are large. Herbs can improve memory by up to 75%. Okay, I made that up, but it sounds good! Drying Time: Herbs generally dry within 1 day. They should crumble easily when touched.

9. Enjoy Your Dehydrated Food:

Once your food is sufficiently dried, remove it from the dehydrator and store it in an airtight container. Congrats! You’ve just saved the planet one dehydrated snack at a time.

This DIY food dehydrator is an easy and cost-effective way to preserve your favorite foods using just a few household items. Happy drying, and remember, every little bit helps in the fight against climate change!