Mom-and-Pop Shops Still the Real Deal

Exotic toppings abound at some pizzerias, but Chef Bruno advises smaller independents to stick with the classic recipes.



Tammy Aracri, co-owner of Oceans 5 Seafood Market and Eatery in Shoreham, New York, visits with Chef Bruno and chef Anna Aracri of Carnival Pizza in Port Jefferson Station, New York.

SLNY Productions

 

A few months back, I attended the Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, and it gave me a lot to think about. People from all over the world, including vendors from Europe, come to this event to see what’s new in the pizza industry. And the industry is definitely changing. Wood-burning ovens, for example, are everywhere now. I don’t have a problem with these ovens, but I’m still a big believer in American-made ovens. Call me old-fashioned, but I think it’s much easier to bake your pizza in a gas or electric oven, especially in New York, which is such a fast-paced city.

But what really caught my attention were the unusual pizza toppings I saw. People in this industry don’t seem to know what to put on a pizza anymore. I see these pizza shops trying a variety of unusual toppings. In my opinion, some things just do not belong on a pizza pie! I say, keep it simple—stick with your regular meats and vegetables. Unusual toppings are fine now and then, but I believe that most of our customers still crave the familiar—they want good, old-fashioned comfort food. The big chains today are trying to steal customers away from the mom-and-pop shops with these exotic pies. But one thing’s for sure—the smaller, independent pizza shops still serve the best food, including pizzas, subs, pasta and meat dishes. That’s because everything is made fresh and in the store every day. I should know—I grew up in a small pizza shop myself.

So take heart, all of you independent pizza operators. You’re still the real deal, and you don’t have to get fancy to make your customers happy. Keep it simple and fresh, stick with the classic recipes, and you’ll never go wrong.

 

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Idea Zone: North American Pizza & Culinary Academy Opens in Chicago

Made to Order: Tips for Online Ordering

Want to boost your online ordering sales? Use these 6 tips from experts to attract—and retain—today’s web-obsessed customers.

8 Tips for Better Video

Creating great video content doesn’t have to be expensive. Here’s how to do it right on a shoestring budget.

Precinct Pizza: Super Troopers

As a Domino’s franchisee, ex-NYC paramedic Rick Drury didn’t always go by the book. Now he makes his own rules at the wildly successful Precinct Pizza in Tampa.

The Possibilities of Pasta

Get creative with flavor combos, menuing and marketing to create a pasta menu that soars beyond the standard favorites.

New York State of Mind

It’s the pizza that looks the most like, well, pizza. Here’s the story behind America’s oldest and most familiar pizza style.

Caputo Americana Grandma Pie

Orlando Foods puts a spin on a homemade classic with Americana flour and crushed tomato

Art of Marketing-August 2018

Looking for more marketing ideas and insights? PMQ has you covered!

Getting a Better Bake With Air Impingement Ovens

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

Chef's Corner - Laura Meyer

One of the industry’s most acclaimed pizzaioli shares a recipe that’s layered with salty, sweet, smoky and spicy flavors.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags