“We try to make the best pizza that we can,” Pete Ogo, co-owner of Pogos Pizza, says. “Everything’s from scratch. We make our own sauce, and our sausage is locally made for us using a special recipe.” He pauses for a second, but that’s just to catch his breath. “We’re really picky. We only prep our vegetables for that day; they’re never old.” Pete’s getting excited. It’s undeniable that he loves what he does. “You know what? Our biggest goal is to have the best product in the community and be as involved as we can.”
Pogos has been more than just a pizza joint for Lake County; they’re a community hub and resource. They’ve given away innumerable pizzas to Students of the Month, sponsored sporting teams, helped out the girl scouts. It’s all part of Pete and Penny Ogo’s philosophy. “You gotta like what you’re doing, and be part of the community,” Pete says. “There are some people who come up to me and say, ‘I’ve been coming here since 2003; this is my place. It makes my eyes damp thinking about it.”
Of course, Pogos also makes good pizza. They don’t skimp on toppings; that needs to be clear from the beginning. Every pizza has plenty of everything, whether it’s a plain cheese with no sauce or the combo, stuffed full of cheese, salami, pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, green peppers, onion, ground beef, sausage, and linguica. It’s difficult to pick up a slice of Pogo’s pizza without losing a bit of sausage or a mushroom.
The Beefy Tostada pizza’s fusion pizza at its best: refried beans serve as the sauce. Then comes the cheese, ground beef, olives, and taco seasoning. Finally, it gets topped with fresh ingredients: sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese complete the picture. Each bite is both filling and fresh.
An excellent vegetarian choice is the Artichoke Fiesta. It’s an entirely different style than Pogo’s regular vegetarian. First of all, they use creamy pesto sauce as the base instead of marinara, which gives it a smooth, garlicky flavor. It’s then covered with a combination of three kinds of cheese: mozzarella, cheddar, and parmesan. Finally, tomatoes, olives, purple onions, artichoke hearts, and garlic spread across the top, ready to be put through the pizza oven and pulled out piping hot, oozing a cheese-covered, artichoke-filled delight.
“Penny’s the reason for the business,” Pete says unreservedly. “She worked in pizza for thirteen years before me and did all the grunt work. She trained me and how we’re running with it together.
“It’s changed our lives,” he says. “And we’re hopefully changing some others as we go. When you’re good friends with Grandma and Momma, you’ve got the whole family: the grandad, the uncles, the kids. And they all come in and eat here. Then it’s not my pizza parlor anymore. It’s their pizza parlor.”
Currently, Pogo’s Pizza has two locations:
9732 CA-281, Kelseyville, CA: (707)-277-7777
4015 Main St, Kelseyville, CA: (707) 279-1350
Soon they will be opening up a new location on Main St. in Lakeport. “I wanted it to be open already,” Pete says, “but I want to do it right.” So be patient; it will happen.