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 4 of 10)

Linda: I’m really proud of our U.S. Pizza Team. We were originally invited by an Italian magazine publisher to compete, and I was so excited to see those roots of the industry. We’ve had great sponsors believe in our team, and it’s been a great source of publicity. We even marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Pizza’s always a positive thing, and now we’ve been growing the team for 17 years.


Sherlyn: In the early days, as a mom-and-pop organization, with just a handful of us, Steve Green would sometimes sleep here. When sales clients wouldn’t call him back, he’d call them again and leave funny messages in a Jimmy Stewart imitation voice. He did a great Jimmy Stewart voice. Everyone wore multiple hats. There were many all-nighters.



Tom: Working at 3 a.m., you get creative. One night, I was reading about subliminal messages. I went to our graphic designer, Eric, and said, “Do you think you can hide a picture of a scantily clad woman on the cover?” He said, “Sure I can.” It became a regular thing. But it came to a head when Eric’s screen calibration was off on his computer. The magazines came back, and it was a little more obvious than what we saw on the screen. Once Linda got wind of it, that was over.


Sherlyn: In this particular 2004 issue, a woman called and said, “I won! I found it!” I said, “Excuse me, what did you find?” She said, “I found the person hidden in the cover.” I got the magazine and looked at it, and I’m like, “Oh, my God.” I was thinking, do we have contests I don’t know about, or is this some type of gag? Eric just had this smirk on his face. I told Steve, “Look at this cover. Just look at it.” Eric and Tommy had to fess up. There was a scantily clad woman in the oven. If they hadn’t gotten busted, they would have continued.



Tracy Morin, senior copy editor: Speaking of hidden messages, when I started in 2007 as copy editor, it was my job to read the entire magazine, and I found these cryptic messages at the bottom of the masthead, which lists the staff members. They’d say things like, “PMQ Magazine—Apply directly to the forehead.” No reader reads the fine print, but those got deleted straightaway. I doubt anyone ever saw them.


Eric Summers, art director: I had a lot of fun hiding things throughout the magazine back in the day. We worked some crazy hours around deadline, so it was a mischievous way to let off some steam. In one 2003 cover, I hid my wedding invitation cover and a picture of my soon-to-be-wife. The message that Tracy mentioned were a blast. Every issue I’d use a quote from movies, TV, comics, all manner of pop culture. They were silly, but it gave the magazine a fun bit of personality to the people that found them.

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Make the most out of your pizza boxes with these tips from operators

Pizza boxes offer up prime marketing space for operators—but are you using yours to its full potential?

True Greek pizza isn't just olives and feta cheese.

PMQ explores Greek-style pizza’s characteristics and history in the United States.

The Dough Doctor tackles effective dough management strategies

If your pizzas aren’t coming out right, here’s how to put your finger on the problem.

What's Your Story? Vets2Success

An Iraq War veteran is using the culinary arts to transform the lives of fellow vets seeking a new start in life.

Recipe of the Month: Get the gluten out with DeIorio's Fresh Prosciutto Gluten-Free Pizza

Serve your customers this prime pie made with fresh prosciutto, garlic and DeIorio's gluten-free pizza shells.

Is your pizzeria geared up for National Pizza Month?

New managing editor Bill DeJournett runs down the upcoming marketing frenzy.

Let your fingers do the talking with text blasts

Think Tankers weigh in on using text blast programs with your market base.

Some Italians Jumping Ship on True Neapolitan Pizza

Italian consumers today demand a healthier product, which has pizzaioli experimenting with different kinds of flour and reviving ancient techniques.

Product Spotlight: September 2018

Pizza box knives, speedier pans and more.

Idea Zone: Custom Cheese Shakers Make for a Fun & Exciting Functional Promotional Item

Make a statement with these branded cheese shakers from
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags