Krista Nelson, the woman behind Hot Mama’s Pizza in Seattle, passed away recently after a long illness.
Nelson co-owned the 28-year-old pizzeria—known for serving up New York-style slices and whole pies—with her husband, David, for 28 years.
“Krista passed peacefully in her sleep on February 14,” her family announced on a recent Facebook post. “She had a years-long struggle with cancer. To all of our ex-employees current employees and just members of the Hot Mama’s family, I send my condolences. She loved you all. To the customers, she was the one most likely making your pizzas on the late-night weekend shifts. Many good times [were] had by all in those ‘good old days.’ Her contribution to the restaurant cannot be understated. She was the glue that held us all together. She was a wonderful sister, daughter and auntie. We are mourning her loss.”
Capitol Hill Seattle named Hot Mama’s “the funniest pizza joint on Capitol Hill” in 2018. At the time its staff included three stand-up comics.
For National Pizza Day on February 9, The Seattle Times praised Hot Mama’s pesto slice for serving “serious main character energy.” The slice’s star, the writer stated, is “an herbaceous, green base confidently announcing itself from underneath a chewy layer of bubbly, golden-brown mozzarella and salty feta crumbles. Yeah, the crunchy, thick crust isn’t as foldable as those of its East Coast cousins, but it has helped fill the pizza-shaped hole in my heart after nights of misadventure.”