NAPICS Reveals Independent Pizza Makers are Hot

""According to Cleveland.com, “Jason Samosky of Valley City checked into his Columbus hotel room, unpacked his bags and started mixing flour, water and yeast. A pizza professional, he wanted the best dough possible for the next day’s competition at the annual North America Pizza & Ice Cream Show.”

“‘If you drive it down here already mixed it can get cold,’ said the owner of Samosky’s Homestyle Pizzeria in Medina County. ‘If it gets too warm, it can over-proof. This way I can control the product, relax and think about the competition.’ Hot, cheesy pizza is holding its popularity in this chilly economy, and independent store owners like this fourth-generation baker still have a bigger bite of the pizza market than highly advertised chain stores. But new challenges will keep Samosky, 34, and others like him fighting to keep a perfect edge on their crusts.”

“After his Philly Cheesesteak Pizza won the competition at NAPICS in 2005, Samosky earned a spot on a professional U.S. team competing in Italy. As word of these and other awards got around, his business tripled. He expanded from his four-table restaurant and added sandwiches and smokehouse specialties to the menu.”

“As Samosky described his growth, a dozen other pizza-parlor owners at NAPICS moved in to take samples of the competing pies, fresh from judging. Samosky entered a Thai-style, with spicy peanut butter sauce. It’s not just cheese and pepperoni anymore; consumers have traveled and tasted more, and the Food Network has helped expose them to new foods.”