Our pizza is powerful. It satisfies hunger. It nourishes the body. It brings peace to the soul. It gathers us around a shared table. It builds a vibrant local economy. It supports our farmers. It heals our broken food system. It creates jobs. It builds community. It seeds love.
That’s going too far. “It seeds love?” Come on. Really?! Pizza seeds love. That’s just silly.
Yes, love. Pizza’zza seeds love. As in the love bird kind. Pizza’zza grows love birds. Just hear me out please.
I suspect you know already that lifelong friendships, international treaties, and carpool schedules are crafted over a fresh, hot-from-the-oven pizza. But, did you know that a shared pizza can transform into a shared life? Blame it on the oven flame or the aphrodisiac properties of basil, but pizza begets love. You don’t get any more romantic than Dean Martin: “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore!” Indeed, that’s amore!
Don’t believe me? I have living, walking, breathing, (embracing) proof that this is so. Dave and Cara worked together at Pizza’zza in 2009-2010, and they just got married! See. Married. Our pizza was obviously the driving force behind their union and deserves the credit for a life lived in blissful harmony. They are Pizza’zza love embodied.
Let’s take a quick look at their story. Now Seattlelites, I recently caught up with Dave via that other uniting force: Facebook. Here’s what I learned. Take note, pizza lovers. This too, could be you.
Erica: How did you and Cara meet?
Dave: It was at a now defunct bar, “Hot Shots.” I was doing live-band karaoke, and hating every minute of it. Being a sucker for brunettes, I saw my guitarist talking to Cara. I asked him, “who’s THAT!?” I learned that she plays bass too, and is very well-spoken and fun to talk to. Here’s the rub: little did I know that she’d had her eye on me for a month. Talk about serendipity, huh? It wasn’t a “setup” at all; I found her on my own.
Erica: Do you have an engagement story?
Dave: Indeed. I’d procured a ring in late October, and was understandably getting worked up about it (in a good way). Then, I hear that Cara’s sister’s boyfriend proposed. “God#*@$!%” was pretty much my sentiment. I move on, and stick to the plan. Well, here’s the funny part: after having a few too many white wines, I tell a stranger/“new friend” at the bar about my engagement plans, but I forget that Cara’s within earshot. Uh oh. So I throw her off the scent. We went to the Nutcracker ballet, which seemed like an obvious time. But I held off. Then, on December 21, after a surprise birthday party for a friend, I got inspired. When we got home, I went to grab the ring and snuck up on her by sliding behind her all “Footloose” style on one knee. The rest is history.
Erica: You and Cara were recently married. What can you tell me about the wedding?
Dave: Oh, it was grand in all senses of the word. The lead-up was insane, but it was a good kind of stress. On the one hand, it was a traditional marriage, but not in a “Royal Wedding” sense. But suffice it to say that it was more formal than “holding hands/barefoot on the beach/only four people there” sort of thing. The morning of, my best man Dwayne (who worked at Pizza’zza for five minutes ’08) was great, except he forgot my overnight bag. So, I’m stuck with a swollen eyeball, white tux shoes, blue socks, camouflage cargo shorts, and my dress shirt the next day.
Erica: I heard you visited New Orleans for your honeymoon. Can you tell me about it?
Dave: We love that town. A Jazz music, NYE vibe at 10am on a Tuesday morning. Can’t beat it. For starters, I lived there for a while. I was only a toddler, but my first two birthdays were there, and my tonsils were removed there… benchmark after benchmark, etc. Well, back in ’08, Cara mentioned that she got a distant relative’s wedding invite… in NOLA. Normally, we’d have just declined, but with that “W” stimulus check ($600), we decided that we’d make a go of it. We had a blast (thanks, Will, for letting me take time off), and honestly it’s kind of where we fell in love.
Erica: What do the two of you like to do?
Dave: For Cara and me both, it’d be bowling (although we’ll never have a 300 game like Will. LOL.) I myself am tempted to say music, but my ego won’t let me. I see it as a career (cough—Nectar Lounge on November 1, the Ill-Legitimates—cough). We honestly just like sitting outside on our porch and tending our chickens. No quilting or model train-building to speak of.
Erica: Have you found anywhere in Seattle that is as good as Pizza’zza (said with the upmost humility)?
Dave: While there are good pizza joints in the area, nothing is of the Pizza’zza ilk. At least not in the “ohmygoditssogood” artisanal sense. Whenever we muse about visiting Bellingham, all we talk about is the BBQ Chicken and “veggie A” slices. And those meatball grinders. EVIL (in a good way)!
So, there you have it, folks. Pizza=a lifetime of bliss. Open your life to pizza, and you open your life to love. Try it. Like Dave and Cara, you won’t be sorry.
Next up: Pizza’zza’s new wedding chapel. No, wait. I’ve got it. How about a pizza delivery and online dating service combo that matches prospective love birds by favorite topping? Okay, okay. I hear you. It’s probably best to stick with what we know.
If you’re lucky love birds like Dave and Cara, we should talk though. We’re just about ready to go live with onsite catering via our mobile pizzeria. Check it out here. That’s amore!
Copyright © 2015 Pizzazza, All rights reserved.
A few weeks ago, I finished a blog post and was feeling satisfied. I had just put my tea cup in the sink and redirected toward the next project of the day when I got a text from a friend of mine in Colorado kindly informing me that I had made a couple typos.
The post hadn’t been up for 10 minutes; let’s hear it for a connected world! Thank you, Wendy, for that near miss with grammatical humiliation.
Simple enough error, simple enough fix, but let's step back a moment because I think there may be something bigger happening here. Something bigger than grammar. (Like the irony there? I'm taking creative license with basic sentence construction. Verb-smerb. Appropriate apologies to my English teachers.)
I’ve mentioned before that we’re in the middle of building a mobile pizzeria, yes? Over the last few months, I’ve had the privilege of sitting around a table with some really smart folks, like our friends at TriVan in Ferndale. They know a lot of useful things we don’t, like how to distribute weight between the axle and the trailer hitch or how to work through problems like venting the oven exhaust to the required height while making sure the trailer fits smoothly under these little structures called overpasses and bridges. They know trucks; we know restaurants. Together we're building what can only be accurately described as an ode to pizza.
Just the other day though, we invited my dad to tag along to a meeting to review the drawings (and to geek-out on their impressive truck construction) when he wondered out loud why the trailer ceiling wasn’t a bit higher. Hmmm. Yes. Why wasn’t it a little higher? Indeed, at the standard height, tossing pizza dough would have presented a bit of a challenge. While we could have posted a couple nightmare pizza dough tossing bloopers on YouTube, it's probably best to steer clear of that fame and simply raise the ceiling. Wow, thanks, Dad. You saved us from YouTube infamy.
And then there is this other time when our friend and colleague suggested that we put the order window on the right side of the trailer instead of the left so that we can pull up and serve curb-side. Brilliant. Thank you, James. That hero just saved the lives of countless customers (you?) who would have been otherwise lining up in traffic to grab a slice. Priceless contribution.
Those simple suggestions changed the entire design of our new mobile pizzeria.They provided valuable input because they felt comfortable voicing it, and we were open to receiving it. Collaboration takes an openness on all sides. The giver has to feel comfortable giving and the receiver has to be open to receiving.
But there is another kind of collaboration out there that goes beyond this simple give and take. And this kind of collaboration is like magic. It's when 1+1 no longer equals 2. It equals 3, or 300. It's when we get smart people from diverse backgrounds together openly sharing ideas and engaging in constructive dialog.
I've had the privilege in my (other) professional life to work with groups that come up with creative and workable solutions to social issues because they are able to sit down together in a safe space and think through things together. Most recently, that work has been with an initiative in Skagit County to improve access to healthy, local food. Each meeting has highlighted for me how important our collective work is. As folks from diverse backgrounds have met in small and large groups, each has brought something unique and precious to the collective table.
The point is simple: we are all a heck of a lot smarter when we work together. Every one of us, experienced or not, has something significant to contribute. Every one of us.
But how about you, dear customer? How have you influenced your local neighborhood pizzeria? Let me count the ways. In May 2012, one of our favorite customers, Marney, got Will thinking about offering burgers. And now we offer the only local, organic, grass-fed burger in town. You’re also responsible for gluten-free crust, whole wheat crust and the move to organic chicken. Yay, you! And it’s not just menu items. Our cherished Pizza’zza Rewards customers suggested that we hire customer service staff to take some of the pressure off our busy cooks. We did, and we're happy to report that it’s working beautifully. Thanks, friends.
When we share our thoughts with one another, our work is not additive, it is multiplicative. And when we really start flowing, it’s simply exponential. Whether we’re talking about solving complete social issues or just making a darned good pizza, our collective efforts are so much more powerful, effective, and let’s face it—fun—than anything we think up alone.
Besides celebrating the collaborative process, let this post be our pledge to you. We give you our word that we will listen to you. We will take your suggestions to heart. We will always keep open ears and minds to what our community wants in their favorite pizzeria. So, from grammatical errors to menu suggestions to ideas about how to give back to our community, it is with open hearts that we welcome and honor your suggestions. We encourage you to contact us directly at Will@pizzazza.com and Erica@pizzazza.com.
Do you see that? That's Will's father's day gift and physical proof that there is no faster way to a child’s heart than through pizza.
They too know this natural law over at Common Threads Farm. They know that in order to get a child to fall in love with growing, preparing, and eating real food, you have to focus the education around easy to like favorites. And what’s everyone’s favorite? Pizza, of course.
Last week we had the rare privilege of hosting Common Thread’s Camp Pizza as they ate their way through Fairhaven while learning the intricacies of making a great pie. From sprouting of the first seed to the finished, hot-from-the-oven slice, Camp Pizza walks kids through the story of their pizza by giving them hands-on and tastebuds-on experience growing, harvesting, preparing and eating their very own pies. As a part of this adventure, they field-tripped it (literally for one scrapped up little camper we Band-aided) from their home base at WWU’s Outback Farm to our Fairhaven location, then to the Wednesday Farmers Market and onto Drizzle for an olive oil tasting.
Fully cementing their ambitions of pizza tossing fame, Will showed these youngins how to correctly toss pizza dough, spread it lovingly with sauce, load toppings for the perfect ratio of toppings to crust, and guide the creation carefully toward the flame to ensure our signature crust crispness.
And these kids are smart cookies. They were asking fabulous questions, like “Do you make your own cheese?” and “Do you grind the flour you use for your dough?” Wow! These are kids who’ve learned a thing or two about food.
And I’ll tell you, they were certainly happy campers when they left. Look at those faces.
To top it off, we got these beautiful thank you cards a little later. High praise indeed: “I love, love, love your pizza” and “Thank you for the best pizza ever!”
Common Threads, it looks like we won over another small band of influential kids in the fight for real, locally grown, delicious food.
Looking to grow a good eater or two? Check out Common Threads’ summer camps.
Copyright © 2015 Pizzazza, All rights reserved.
Since the 4th of July is right around the corner, we thought we’d share a recipe to help you plan your holiday festivities. Remember that we like to support your celebrating any way we can, so we’ll be open regular hours this 4th of July. Come celebrate with us!
Recipe for an outrageous Bellingham summer:
Set first ingredient aside for later use.
Use this map to find an attractive location that suits you.
Using a telephone, call in pizza order to closest Pizza’zza. Allow oven and stovetop to remain off so as not to overheat home. Allow Pizza’zza staff to suffer in the sweltering heat of the pizza oven. Turn on fan and pour a glass of iced tea. You deserve it. Just thinking about the oven has likely made you sweat.
Gather blanket, beverage, good cheer, and companions. Mix gently. Pour into large or small locomotion device, such as a car, bicycle, red wagon, or skate board. Be careful not to over-mix; some ingredients may be fragile and/or irritable in the heat. Using map, GPS, or memory, make your way to Pizza’zza.
Upon entering, greet employee and kindly ask if your order is ready. Smile. Say, “Hot enough for ya’?” Smile again. Say thank you. Tip the friendly pizzarista behind the counter if it pleases you. Pay for pizza. Exit building. Gently pour pizza into other ingredients in locomotion device. Mix well, but gently, to avoid dissolving good cheer.
Proceed to pre-determined attractive location. Locate flat-ish shady spot. Gently and without ruffling too many feathers, pour locomotion device ingredients on grassy or sandy ground. Spread blanket evenly. Place remaining ingredients on top of blanket, allowing ingredients to touch only if mutually desired.
Cook under a sunny sky at 80ish degrees for approximately 1-2 hours until top is slightly browned and inside is soft and relaxed.
This is an old, family recipe. We think it will quickly become one of your family favorites as well. Enjoy and post pictures of how your recipe turned out on our Facebook site.
Copyright © 2015 Pizzazza, All rights reserved.