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gung ho story

About Gung Ho! Pizza

Gung Ho! Pizza (opened July 2010) is a brand new Beijing-based start up by young Kiwi’s Jade Gray and John O’Loghlen. Leveraging a collective 17 years of experience in the Chinese food and beverage industry, Gung Ho! represents new style of local entrepreneurship; rooted in the community, responsible to its team and customers, and proudly Made in China.

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What are we doing? We’re brightening up this city! We’re fusing culinary creativity and fresh high-quality ingredients together with slick operations and good ol’ Beijing how-to to revolutionize the way you think about pizza delivery. We bring you great healthy gourmet pizza, with a minimum of fuss, wherever you are!

What we do

We do gourmet pizza. Great tasting healthy gourmet pizza. Pizza made from the freshest high-quality ingredients, thrown together with almost Zen-like carelessness.
We do classics like margherita and pepperoni, with a little Gung Ho! twist, but it’s really all about our signature slices. Interesting combinations like chicken, camembert and wine-soaked blackcurrants. Baby calamari and hand-made lemon aoli. Fresh made-from-scratch pesto and goat cheese. That’s Gung Ho! baby.
We also do fresh pasta and very generously sized fresh signature salads.

Why pink?

Look around! We love Beijing but it’s a little… grey. We’re here to liven it up!

Gung Ho! Values & Vision

Gung Ho! Vision & Values

None of this would be possible without what we believe is the best team in China. Seriously. Our guys (and girls) give it their all – day in and day out! They aren’t afraid to speak their mind, but they also aren’t afraid to get involved and be a part of the solution. They take care of business and each other with a smile on their face.

Because that’s the Gung Ho! way.

Gung Ho! Company Culture:

1. Brutal Honesty:

Encourage open and honest communication in all things! Without honesty there is no trust and without trust there is no team. Whether it’s players telling their shift leaders how it is on the front line, or you guys emailing John and Jade critical feedback, honesty is a key part of the Gung Ho! game. After all, you can’t solve a problem – or improve something – if you don’t know about it.

2. Take Responsibility

It’s not just about what’s written in our job descriptions, we at Gung Ho! understand that we also have a responsibility to our team, our customers and our company! Because it’s ours. See that empty pan over there, or that customer waiting? That’s our pan, our customer. And our responsibility.

3. Take Care of Gung Ho! People

A “Gung Ho! person” is anyone that comes into contact with Gung Ho! That includes customers, suppliers, local government types and of course, each other! We try to treat all Gung Ho! people like family. Even if we don’t always agree, we’ll always treat each other with respect and help when we can.

4. Find a Way

Mei ban fa” is not part of the Gung Ho! vocabulary! There’s always a solution and we pride ourselves on thinking inside and outside the box until we find it!

5. Gung Ho! Attitude

What is the Gung Ho! attitude? The Gung Ho! attitude is “Go! Go! Go!”; it’s a can-do, go out and get ‘em state of mind. We’re willing to take risks, and go way out of our way to serve you.

6. Develop Yourself

Like Confucius, we believe that self-development is one of the most important things in life, whether it’s by learning a new skill, overcoming a challenge at work or just reading a book. As a company we take immense pride in the fact that we promote almost exclusively from within.

7. Work Hard, Play Hard

Self-explanatory! That’s just part of the Gung Ho! way. Sure, we work hard. We work hard for the pride of a job well done, but also because that’s what we do. We work to the best of our abilities. But we also make sure we take time for ourselves. We’re just as serious about our personal lives, our friends and family, as we are about our work.


Change Peoples’ Lives

From the delivery guy bringing a smile to you face, the customer service girl remembering your name, or a great tasty pizza that hits the spot, we like to think we’re changing your life a little bit for the better.

But we try to do way more than that.

We care about the community and the environment. We are currently developing a comprehensive sustainability plan.

We teach our team life skills like personal finance and goal attainment, we send them to school to learn new skills and accreditations in areas like cuisine, accounting and human resources. We teach our young leaders the latest bleeding edge global management techniques like the Rockefeller Habits, Good to Great and Topgrading.

When they have family problems we’ll help them out and when they’re sick we’ll take them to the hospital. And if they rock it hard enough, for long enough, we make them partners.


The Gung Ho Story

The Kiwi Brothers

John grew up in Auckland, the capital of New Zealand, a city on the North Island with 1.4 million people. Jade grew up in Twizel, a small mountain town on the South Island with just 1,100 people. Jade’s first real job managing a cattle farm in Tieling. John’s first job was at Goldman Sachs in New York, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Jade’s first experience with pizza in China was his own start-up business, Pyro Pizza in Wudaokou. John’s first pizza experience in China was Asian Development Manager of Dominos.

Despite all these differences, the two things they agreed upon was that a) China was the future, and b) they loved pizza.

The Search

So the two Kiwi Brothers set out to find the best pizza in the world. From Napoli to New York they found proponents of purist pizza, classic provincial pizza in Italy and that world famous New York style pizza by the slice in the Big Apple. They trekked across Europe on planes, trains and on foot, and once to the Greek islands on a friend’s super-yacht. They ate at the world’s top-ranked restaurant in Copenhagen, then got sick in a hole-in-the-wall place in Amsterdam. A quick trip over the Channel took them to a friend’s pizza joint in London, and 20 pints of good English lager got them very drunk.

They checked out the pizza best the world had to offer but in the end they were disappointed. None had that spark, that unique creative flair they were looking for.

The Pizza

So, tired and depressed, they washed up once again upon the shores of New Zealand. They wanted to bring something special to China but they hadn’t been able to find it. Talking with some friends, they pondered their options. “Why don’t you check out that place down on the beach?” one friend said. “It’s great!”

John and Jade looked at each other and said “Why not?” and headed off. At first glance it wasn’t much. It appeared to be nothing more than a ramshackle hut sitting on a sandy beach with half a pizza oven sticking out the back of it. They shrugged, sat down on the rickety stools and ordered beer and a pizza.

It was the best pizza they’d ever tasted! John and Jade had been around the world, from the birthplace of pizza to the top-ranked restaurant in the world and they found the best pizza on the planet right in their backyard! Without further ado, said goodbye to their families, jumped on a plane back to Beijing and started…

Gung Ho! Pizza.

Where does the name ‘Gung Ho’ come from anyway?

Go on. Guess.  You probably know that the phrase ‘gung ho’ represents a kind-of enthusiastic or dedicated, can-do attitude, and that’s reason enough right? Some of you may also know that it’s used a lot in the US military – the marines specifically – and some of you might even know that the marines originally took it from Chinese soldiers while on tour in Shanghai during the Sino-Japanese war. All true incidentally.

But how many of you know that the Chinese originally got it from a Kiwi [New Zealander]?

The term was picked up by United States Marine Corps Major Evans Carlson from his New Zealand friend, Rewi Alley, one of the founders of the Chinese Industrial Cooperatives. Carlson explained in a 1943 interview: “I was trying to build up the same sort of working spirit I had seen in China where all the soldiers dedicated themselves to one idea and worked together to put that idea over. I told the boys about it again and again. I told them of the motto of the Chinese Cooperatives, Gung Ho. It means Work Together…”

The mandarin name of the Chinese Industrial Cooperatives? Gōng Yè Hé Zuò Shè; Gong He or Gung Ho for short.

Rewi Alley: The Original Gung Ho! Guy

Rewi Alley in ChinaBy the age of 29 Rewi Alley had done little that would set him apart from any of his contemporaries. Like thousands of other young New Zealand men he served overseas during the First World War. After ‘six years of loneliness and struggle’ and intrigued by what he had read about China, Alley left New Zealand in December 1926 ‘to go and have a look at the Chinese revolution’. He would stay for 60 years, becoming one of China’s best-known and best-loved foreigners.

Alley arrived in China on 21 April 1927. Over the next 10 years, working variously as a fire officer, factory inspector and relief worker, he laboured among the Chinese trying to improve their living and working conditions. He came to greater prominence during the Japanese invasion of China in 1937, after he was involved in efforts to found the Association of Chinese Industrial Cooperatives (INDUSCO), commonly known by the slogan Alley coined, ‘Gung Ho/Work Together’. Gung Ho aimed to organise small-scale self-supporting cooperatives which created employment for workers, while continuing production to support resistance against the Japanese. A Time magazine article from April 1940 noted:

“The advantages of cooperatives were many … The units were mobile, easily disguised, easily housed, and were not, like big factories, obvious targets for Japanese bombers. They supplied military needs which no other source in China could produce so efficiently … Above all they provided millions of refugees who trekked west on the heels of freedom with the hope of lasting relief in the form of jobs … Cooperatives entirely revitalized whole towns.”

As part of the Gung Ho movement Alley dreamed of training young Chinese in the skills that the co-operatives needed. In 1940 he was involved in setting up schools in various parts of the country. Some failed, but one in a tiny village called Shuangshipu (Feng Xi’an) was revitalised in 1941 under the leadership of George Hogg. Rewi Alley and Zhou EnlaiAlley returned there often and assisted in its move to Shandan in December 1942, when the school was threatened by the Japanese advance. After Hogg in July 1945 Alley took over as headmaster.

By 1953 Alley had settled in Beijing. He immersed himself in writing about China and travelled extensively, speaking on behalf of international peace agencies, such as the World Peace Council. But his great achievements, Gung Ho and the school at Shandan, were never far from his mind. In his 80s he and other Gung Ho veterans successfully set about reviving the organization. He also conceived a plan for a new Shandan School that would meet the present-day needs of the region. It opened on 21 April 1987, the 60th anniversary of his arrival in China.

Before and after his death on 27 December 1987 the New Zealand and Chinese governments honoured Alley for his work in China. They have continued to do so in recent decades. In 1997 and 2007 events were held to mark the 100th and 110th anniversary of his birth.

Gung Ho! Food!

GHP Snapshot 04Our wholewheat flour is organic:

  • Organic means it’s made naturally with no chemicals or preservatives, and no pesticides
  • It’s from a place in Heilongjiang, and it’s known in the industry as the best flour in China

Our cheese is imported:

  • We use Anchor mozzarella from New Zealand, a country known for the cleanest skies and purest water in the world
  • The cheeses on our Four Cheese pizza are all imported specialty cheeses from Europe

Our menu was designed by Jeff Powell:

  • He’s designed menus and trained staff for Beijing’s best restaurants, including the Orchard, Element Fresh and Flamme