Author Archives: Steve Coomes

2009 September: Eye On The Prize

2009 September: Eye On The Prize

Of three pizza competitions won by Jodi Aufdencamp, the first in 2001 was arguably the easiest: held in Columbus, Ohio, a few convenient miles from her shop, Mama Mimi’s Take ‘N Bake Pizza. Forced to carry just one cooler to the contest, Aufdencamp had only to make a great pie. But her trip with husband,More »

Salso!, World Pizza Championships

2009 July: Salso!

An exhausted Justin Wadstein yawns after working 16 of the last 24 hours at Kianti’s Pizza & Pasta Bar in Santa Cruz, California. For the 23-year-old pizza maker, it’s payback time: In early April, he spent a week competing in the acrobatic dough-tossing challenge at the Campionato Mondiale della Pizza (World Pizza Championships) in Salsomaggiore,More »

2010 June: Balancing Act

2010 June: Balancing Act

Danny Mac’s Pizza, Pasta & More isn’t the highest grossing operation in the industry, but owner Danny McMahon accounts for every dollar as if his were a publicly traded company. While a franchisee for the now-defunct Pizza Magia chain, McMahon learned to crunch numbers in ways that helped him understand his business’s fiscal condition, andMore »

2010 April: Marketing Budgets

2010 April: Marketing Budgets

When some of the nation’s best-known and busiest pizzerias never spend a dime on marketing, it’s hard to convince some operators to spend any dough getting the word out. But even method-minded veteran marketers say budgets and strategic plans go only so far. “I see it like this: Having a budget doesn’t mean you getMore »

2011 May: Payday

2011 May: Payday

Chuck Wilburn was already a veteran Shakey’s Pizza Parlor operator when he watched a new restaurant open across the street from his Redlands, California, store several years ago. The restaurant was good, and the business flourished quickly. But Wilburn wondered how long the good times would last when the owner’s spending habits changed drastically amidMore »

2011 February: Potato Chips – Value Added

2011 February: Value Added

There’s hardly a better accompaniment to a great sandwich than potato chips or fries. But in the pizza business, where kitchens often are small and a fryer isn’t always required, chips typically get the call. Which isn’t a bad thing at all: Americans love potato chips so much they’re the country’s favorite salty snack (secondMore »

2010 January: Labor Of Love

2010 January: Labor Of Love

In The Kitchen / Bread Labor Of Love Can you make bread in-house? By Steve Coomes Photos by Rick Daugherty It’s 6 a.m. on a Saturday, and loaves of artisan bread are pouring from the mouth of the impinger oven at Avalanche Pizza in Athens, Ohio. Yes, artisan breads. Fifteen types ranging from classic ciabatta,More »