From coast to coast, pizzeria operators put everything they have into their signature pies. In this series, Grande features operators and their secrets to success.
Watch how three operators from different parts of the country play by their own rules.
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Our place has been evolving for 35 years. It started as a little hangout for rock climbers and now it’s an international rock-climbing destination. The recipes, the buildings and everything evolved when there was a need.
The assumption of success has never been there in our business. We’ve always provided for the needs of the business rather than getting too far ahead of ourselves.
Cheese. That's the best example if you're making pizza well because there's nothing blinding the flavor. If you can't get the sauce, crust and cheese right, then you may as well just stop there.
I knew I wanted to be in the pizza business, but didn't want to work for just anybody. I was always the minority at work. So I decided from a young age that I wanted to make a statement in the restaurant business.
When you're a small business owner and everything is on your shoulders, it's not always pretty. It can be a very isolating experience. So staying positive, I think, is the number one key. It also rallies everyone else.
My favorite pizza is the spicy veggie Hawaiian. It’s a barbecue sauce base with mozzarella, jalapenos, red onion, pineapple, cheddar and a light ranch drizzle. Everyone who says, "I don't like pineapple on my pizza," loves that pizza.
I started working for Purgatory while making music. Right away, I saw a lot of potential in the place. The owner let me make some big changes, starting with the recipes. Six months later, I doubled sales.
For me, it always comes back to respect and respecting people’s time. I'm always here and I love being here. And I want to make that the case for everybody else for the small amount of time when they’re working here.
If you want to judge a slice of pizza, get a slice of cheese. It’s just simple. You can really taste the sauce, the dough and the cheese and that’s most important to me. So cheese would be my favorite slice.