What started out as a decades-old pub is now a wood-fired pizzeria in Laramie, Wyoming, that was featured on not one but two Food Network shows last year.

Ethan Smith first bought into Alibi Bar & Package Store in 1990 and took over full ownership in 2011. But pizza was calling sweetly to Ethan and his wife, Kerri, an experienced baker and chef. They finally bought a backyard mobile oven in 2014. In 2019, they remodeled the building and added a kitchen with its own wood-fired stove, plus a full bakery.

And Alibi Wood Fire Pizzaria & Artisan Bakery has been a hit ever since.

It took only a few years for Alibi to catch Guy Fieri’s attention. Next thing the Smiths knew, Kerri was being featured in Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (DDD) in April 2022. “They contacted us to submit six recipes for items on our menu,” Kerri said. “They contacted several locations in the area and chose six to film. They chose the Cowboy Brisket Pizza and the Reuben [sandwich] to be featured.”

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Kerri appeared alongside Fieri in that episode, and she was clearly a hit. Fieri’s team invited her back again several months later for an episode of Guy’s Grocery Games (GGG). “Shortly after DDD filmed, I received a text to see if I would be interested in Grocery Games, which was showcasing three of [Fieri’s] favorite DDD pizzerias,” Kerri recalled. “Of course I was! We were allowed to bring our own dough and other ingredients. I brought brisket.”

Kerri learned a bit about the work that goes into shooting a TV show. “For GGG, I was surprised how realistic the set is,” she said. “They definitely thought that out meticulously. DDD was interesting in that they choose six locations in an area and knock out filming in four to five days. Pretty efficient.”

This photo shows Chef Kerri holding a tray with six croissants.

Alibi Wood Fire Pizzaria & Artisan Bakery

Speaking of efficiency, Kerri presides over a kitchen that offers a lot more than pizza—everything from freshly baked pastries (we’re talking bear claws, croissants and brioche) and artisan breads made with organic wheat and specialty grains to artisan sandwiches and salads.

But if it’s pizza you want, pizza you will get. Alibi Wood Fire Pizzaria offers a selection of 15 pies, including that now-famous Cowboy Beef Brisket Pizza, which features a bechamel sauce, hickory-smoked brisket, red onions, cheddar, mozzarella and a drizzle of horseradish cream and honey. Kerri also recommends their Pulled Pork Pizza, made with garlic-infused olive oil, pulled pork, pickled onions, fresh mozzarella and cheddar cheese, plus a big dollop of housemade cole slaw.

“We have a 500 Moberg Smoker stick burner in the back yard,” Kerri said. “The brisket is not shredded onto the pizza—you get big slices of brisket on each slice.”

Also spotlighted in Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives was Alibi’s Reuben sandwich, made with corned beef, house sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing on rye bread. Customers can also enjoy sandwiches like the Turkey Apple, made with turkey, Granny Smith apples, spinach, fig jam and cheddar.

This photo shows a pizza topped with pulled pork and coleslaw

The Pulled Pork Pizza (Alibi Wood Fire Pizzaria & Artisan Bakery)

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Everything at Alibi Wood Fire Pizzaria is built on a sourdough base, including the bakery items. And pizza, breads and pastries, all in one shop, combine for a powerful 1-2-3 punch. “I think that the pizzaria and the bakery work hand in hand,” Kerri said. “A new customer might come in for the bakery but then get drawn back because they see that we do pizza/sandwiches. Our wood oven is very visible to guests as they walk in, so most have a ton of questions. If a new customer comes in for dinner or lunch and sees that we have pastries and breads, they usually end up getting something—either desserts or baked goods for the next morning.”

Then there’s the fish tacos. Wait…fish tacos? Why fish tacos?

“We love fish tacos,” Kerri said. “You cannot find grilled mahi-mahi anywhere close to us that’s good. Everything is cod and fried. We don’t have a fryer in our kitchen! So we threw it on as a treat for us, but it quickly became very popular. The fish tacos are topped with a house slaw and jalapeño sauce, so it’s a really fresh taco compared to the fried versions.”

Obviously, earning Guy Fieri’s stamp of approval is good for Alibi’s business. But the Smiths still have their share of worries like every other pizzeria operator. What keeps them up at night? “Staffing,” Kerri says. “The main purpose of Laramie is the University of Wyoming, which means our employee pool is mainly college students. Laramie isn’t a professional service-industry town. So there’s a lot of turnover, and unmotivated people come through. It can get rough.”

And the Smiths never want to compromise on the quality of their ingredients—which are sourced locally as much as possible—and the freshness of their food. “We only have so many hours a day,” Kerri said, “so maximizing our time in order to produce the products at the level we want can be challenging.”