What started out as a drive-through burger place in Conrad two years ago has turned into a “mess” of success when The Messy Apron partnered up with the Cut Bank Creek Brewery.
Owner Chelsey Stubbs said it was July of 2018 when the opportunity to “guest” serve food at the brewery was offered. It wasn’t long before Kim and Louie Stoltz, owners of Cut Bank Creek Brewery, asked Chelsey and her husband, Willie, if they would like to stay for good.
“We said absolutely,” smiled Chelsey. “We made the decision to add pizza to our food trailer at the beginning of 2019.” They attended the pizza expo in Las Vegas and the rest is history!
The husband and wife duo built the Forno Bravo pizza oven on Chelsey’s 29th birthday in April 2019 and then cut a hole in the back of the food trailer to provide the opening for the pizza oven door. Natural gas was plumbed in and a custom-built base was created to hold the 3,000-pound brick pizza oven.
“The pizza oven is 48 inches because I knew I wanted to make the largest pizza in the state of Montana at 22 inches, boasted Chelsey.
“Pizza is our biggest seller, but our Messy Apron burger is a close second, with our juicy hand-cut finger steak coming in right behind.”
The Messy Apron menu is based off comfort foods, but the couple knew that burgers, steaks and fries were something sold everywhere in Montana, so they needed to do something in order to stand out.
“I would say just about everything on our menu I came up with the name and figured out what would compliment the name,” said Chelsey.
“With the exception of our Pork-Er-pine Stack, that was all thanks to my son, Adian. At the time of us coming up with it he came walking in and said ‘that looks pokey like a porcupine,’ and because it has all pork products we modified the name.”
Willie is the best guinea pig for most of Chelsey’s food creations. He never holds back on what he thinks!
When The Messy Apron first started in Conrad it had two employees. As the business has grown, so has the number of employees. Currently, The Messy Apron has five employees. “Four of my employees live in Cut Bank and one drives up from Conrad with me.”
She added, “During the summer I tend to have more employees.”
Having their business based out of the Cut Bank Creek Brewery has paid off in spades, providing some additional employment for those in the area and success for both businesses.
“We are so grateful to Cut Bank for all of the support and we look forward to serving all of our patrons,” said Chelsey. “Since coming to Cut Bank we have created a great and lasting business relationship with the Cut Bank Creek Brewery. They serve up the cold drinks, having something for everyone from beer, wine or homemade root beer, and send them out back to pick up something to satisfy their taste buds. I mean, what pairs better with pizza than beer?” she asked.
“Cut Bank has been just simply amazing since COVID-19. We have always had delivery, but with COVID-19 it helped spread the word,” said Chelsey. “Cut Bank definitely knows how to support small town businesses and knows the worth of having them.”
For more information, hours of operation and monthly specials, check out The Messy Apron Facebook page messyaprontrailer.