As PMQ celebrates its 20th anniversary, we honor the past and look forward to the future in this special oral history.

PMQ’s founders and longtime team members reflect on two decades of progress, pranks, pitfalls and pizza.



(page 3 of 10)

Linda: One thing that amazes me about Steve is that he’s always gotten the technology. He wanted a website in 1997; I didn’t know what a website was back then! We wrote about online ordering in the late ’90s, and now people order from their phones. We’ve always talked about how independents can stay competitive with the big boys. I remember ordering my first online pizza five years ago, which was so exciting, and now we have a pizzeria here in Oxford that takes only online orders!

 

Sherlyn Clark, circulation manager: I started here in 2000 as office manager. They’d just transitioned to an actual office, and I dropped off a resume on my lunch break. Steve explained it was for the pizza industry, and I was just in awe. When I first started, our mailing list was all me. The mail truck would pull up and unload bins of returned mail; I’d have to physically go through them to remove bad addresses and address changes. One came in, and the post office had written, “In prison for killing wife.” Another was in prison for tax evasion. 

 

 

Steve: We started the U.S. Pizza Team (USPT) in 2000, and it has been a treasure trove of opportunities for so many people. A lot of people just love the name—like it’s part of the government! I was inspired by the movie Dumb and Dumber, when the Swedish Bikini Team shows up. It stuck in my head—is it real or fake? Let’s make a real one: The U.S. Pizza Team. The first year we went to Italy, we took three people to compete at the World Pizza Championship—a pizza spinner, a culinary expert, and a guy who had convinced me he made pizzas for the White House, which turned out not to be true. That was the first time an American, Tony Gemignani, won for spinning, and we got calls from the BBC. We realized that the team was publicity gold, and ever since, we’ve tried to build it, looking for the best pizza makers and spinners around the country. Our dream is for the best to compete in the name of pizza, in the name of America, worldwide. The USPT has been on Martha Stewart, Regis & Kelly, the Today show. In 2004, we used a PR guy for a New York tour, and he said in 20 years of being in PR, he never had a client that was easier to sell than the USPT.

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Recipe: The Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza from DeIorio’s

If your customers love ranch dressing and buffalo sauce, you can’t go wrong with this pizza recipe from DeIorio’s.

Playing with fire: Experts offer their top tips for working with wood-fired pizza ovens

From dough preparation to finishing flourishes, a wood-fired oven demands more knowledge and expertise than a modern oven.

Our Town America: Now offering POS integration for ease of use for larger brands

Using a mobile app, pizzeria owners can track who redeems their offers, then follow up with a second offer.

Pizzeria operators can turn heads with signature menu items from Caputo


Leading industry cheese manufacturer Caputo offers custom cheese solutions to inspire application innovation.

Cut waste and excess fat from your pizzas with StitZii box liners

StitZii’s grease-absorbent pizza box liners let pizzeria owners deliver a healthier pizza and protect the environment.

As technology advances and communications platforms keep changing, the pizza business remains a people business

With a phone in every pocket, who would have guessed talking on those phones would become so passe?

Double your pizza production with Marra Forni

The double-mouth oven makes for twice the efficiency and twice the versatility.

Data breaches: A restaurant operator’s worst nightmare

When it comes to protecting your POS data from hackers and thieves, the IRS recommends following these 5 steps.

Boosting traffic to your pizzeria: Does it pay to advertise on Yelp?

Yelp’s a powerful influencer for restaurant customers, but Think Tank users say you can get a better return for your money with another ad strategy.

Can par-baked crusts save time during rush periods?

According to Tom “The Dough Doctor” Lehmann, par-baking your dough skins for later use has its advantages and disadvantages.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags