who are they, what you should know & five of their favorite Philly things

You can find Dave Quaile, the creator of Freelance Pizza, on Instagram @Freelancepizza_. His bio keeps it short and sweet: “Some dude making pizza in his house in Pennsport, South Philly. Had a lot of people ask me on my personal account to make them pizza, so here we are.”

Dave says Freelance Pizza started when he had to move out of his South Jersey home because his new dog, Frankie, wasn’t welcome on the lease. A short time later he found himself and Frankie in a row home in Pennsport, grabbed a few books about pizza making from the local library after a rough first attempt at making pizza from scratch, and the rest was history! Dave doesn’t necessarily have plans to expand his pizza-making business past his Instagram orders; he simply does this out of pure enjoyment. He says, “The plan has always been to do it for as long as it’s fun and then just delete my Instagram and disappear into the weird fabric of Philly.”

A full-time online content editor and freelance medical writer, Dave created Freelance Pizza out of creativity, curiosity, and a love of pizza. From a meat lover’s paradise to a vegan tomato pie, Dave does it all. 

Want a fresh, hot, personal pizza made with love? 

Meet Dave.

What is your inspiration? How did you get started?

Honestly, everyone who makes food in Philly has been really awesome and inspirational. I like collaborating when I can find the time, but I definitely drag my feet about it. This whole thing has also been like a weird art installation because all of my boxes that go out the door get drawn on with sharpie, so if I do a popup with 50 pizzas, one of my days of prep goes toward just the doodling part. For that, I grab inspiration from local artists, old cartoons, movies, and old punk album covers, for the most part.

As far as how I got started, this whole thing actually began as a food blog that nobody but like three friends, my siblings and cousins read. I’m a culinary school dropout who went back to school to be a writer. I was doing a ton of technical writing for my job and missed writing and cooking just as a creative outlet, so I started just a blog about whatever I had been cooking throughout the week.

The first week that I was writing, I went on a vacation with some friends and there was a wood fire oven in the back yard and they called me up while I was on my way and told me to bring some pizza. So, I bought flour, oil, and yeast and as soon as I walked in they were all kind of just like, “Oh…We meant like a DiGiorno that we could throw in the pizza oven.” It ended up being a bit of a rushed dough and didn’t turn out great and I wanted to be better the next time we took the trip. When I got home, I was just making pie after pie, trying to get the recipe right for the next trip.

I had just moved to the city and didn’t know anyone so I pawned it off on coworkers and local spots around Pennsport. After my co-workers and places like Grindcore House and Awesome Dudes Screen Printing started reposting the pies on their stories, people started reaching out on my personal account and a friend suggested I scrap the blog and just make a pizza Instagram instead.

What is something you wish all your customers knew about Freelance Pizza?

That I’m not a chef or a professional at all and that I am just some dude with a row home oven. Any person that wants to learn how to make pizzas can get most of the info they need to know at the Philly free library. Anyone with enough time on their hands and some willing test subjects can (and should) crank out pizzas until they get a hang of it. Oh, and people should also know that I suck so bad at social media, so they could totally do that part too.

What is your personal favorite Pizza you have made so far?

I think the best way to tell if a pizza place is good is to get the plain, but I think the best pizza I make is the espresso caramelized onion. I used to make a pie with whiskey onions and I guess I drank all of my whiskey and needed to figure out something on the fly. I dumped my espresso into the onions and the rest is history. It’s been a fan favorite ever since.

If you could offer one piece of advice to new entrepreneurs, what would it be?

Oh man…probably to not do anything that I’ve done. This has always been a weird little project for me. I started out trading pizzas for canned goods and clothing donations and when Covid hit, I had to stop making pies out of my house and do pop ups instead. Now I do pop ups and 100% of the money always goes towards some kind of local charity. If you’re an entrepreneur or a budding business, I highly suggest taking money instead of giant bags of used clothes.

five favorite Philly things?

Favorite Restaurant

River Twice

East Passyunk

Favorite Non-Tourist Attraction

Mutter Museum

Hidden Gem

The First Unitarian Church

Favorite Neighborhood


Favorite Local Biz

Kismet Bagels

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Meet the Blogger


Maggie Blehar is a Philadelphia-based writer and editor. Her passion for writing started as soon as she could hold a pencil, filling up journal after journal. When she isn’t writing, you can find her showcasing her amateur cooking skills, digging deeper into her zodiac sign, exploring Philly neighborhoods with her dog, or refurbishing wooden chairs to resemble cherished book covers, a hobby she calls Literachair.Learn more or connect with her on her website.

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