July 1, 2015 |

A Conversation with Sammy Mandell, GAPCo

By Pizza Today


Sammy and Molly Mandel, owners of  Greenville Avenue Pizza Company

Sammy and Molly Mandell, owners of
Greenville Avenue Pizza Company

Sammy lets us in on GAPCo’s rebranding and remodel

 

Greenville Avenue Pizza Company
Dallas, Texas

Since opening in 2007, GAPCo has weathered a lengthy revitalization of the Greenville Avenue District. The late-night spot had evolved with the changing area, including a complete remodel and rebranding in 2013.

 

I opened Greenville Avenue Pizza Company (GAPCo) in October of 2007.  We are a pizzeria that also serves hot wings, sandwiches and appetizers. Many people say our wings are the best in Dallas. We are open for dine-in and delivery until 3 a.m. on weekdays and 4 a.m. on weekends. This is for the surrounding bar crowd, but we pride ourselves on the quality of our product. We use all fresh ingredients and cook all products in house every day (from our bacon and sausage toppings to our mozzarella cheese bites). Nothing here is easy to make. What we have created takes the hardest working pizza makers and a culture of diligence, energy and fun. We are a family. Our delivery business recently became so busy that we had to add one more double-deck oven.

We were blessed to meet Royce Ring and the Plan B Branding Company in 2013 when we decided to re-brand our restaurant. The Plan B team created many logos and inspirational photo books for our interior redesign. We basically gave them our vision and they made it come to life. Our favorite part about it is our new logo. It is a phoenix with a pizza slice. We are in an area of Dallas that was going down hill and extremely crime ridden back in 2008. When the city decided to re-do the block — Greenville Avenue — there was lots of street construction, and only about four businesses stayed open during that time. Plan B was aware of the hardships we experienced and felt like with the re-branding we rose from the ashes. This remodel also came with a new menu in which all toppings have hashtags (meatballs: #ballsballsballs; spinach: #thesailorman and bacon: #meatcandy).

We currently have plans to launch a lunch day part. Because we are open so late at night, much of our staff is still asleep at lunch time. We recently added a manager to our management team to ensure that we would be able to staff up for lunch time, without everyone being overworked and to cover the mass amount of hours that we are open. Due to the street renovation, Greenville Avenue is one of the most popular areas in Dallas. The foot traffic is here, all we need to do is open our doors.

Our slices are huge. They are ¼ of a 16-inch pizza. The percentage of slices we sell is 12 percent due to the fact that we have a full menu, friendly staff that provide a fun environment and a great (all Texas) craft beer selection. The challenge is serving a fresh slice 100 percent of the time in our quick-serve environment. Just because we are selling slices quickly doesn’t mean the quality of our pizza should go down. If we are not selling slices, we are having to throw away product. But late night on a Friday or Saturday that is rarely the problem. In the near future, we are opening our pizza-by-the-slice window for a walk-up option.

“Pizza Crack” is our house-made seasoning that is garlic based (with other secret ingredients). When it was originally created, it was simply a tasty pizza seasoning. Customers quickly started telling us how addicting it was and calling it “pizza crack.” At one point our “Crack Shakers” were getting stolen so much, we had to chain them to the walls. This is when we decided to bottle and sell the product. We are currently in talks with a distribution company to get it into grocery stores. We also serve it on our homemade French fries, which we like to call “Crack Fries.”