October 24, 2012
Slice of Hope 2012 is in the books, and it’s shaping up to be a major success. Now it is your turn to do your part!
Last year, we cycled from Portland to Seattle to spread the word about Slice of Hope and raised $105,000 for the Karen Mullen Breast Cancer Foundation. We’ve already surpassed that total this year, and there are still hundreds of pizzerias yet to send in their donations!
Just two weeks ago, October 8-12, we cycled from Lakeland, Florida to Naples, Florida. The team of cyclists stopped for fundraising parties at LaMotta’s Italian Resturant in Ft. Myers and Aldo’s Ristorante in Naples along the way. Additionally, more than 200 pizzerias across the country hosted their own fundraising parties on our National Slice of Hope Pizza Party Day (Friday, October 12).
While the donations are just now starting to come in, we have already met last year’s total! If you signed up to support Slice of Hope, or if you didn’t but still want to, your donations can now be mailed to the Karen Mullen Breast Cancer Foundation at this address:
19015 66th Avenue South
Kent, Washington 98032
For more about Slice of Hope, visit www.pizzatoday.com/sliceofhope.
While conducting research for an article he’s writing for the March issue of Pizza Today, freelance writer Daniel Smith ran into Tony DiSilvestro, owner of YNot pizzeria. DiSilvestro says he paid $14,000 for a new refrigerated display case to house homemade gelato — a purchase that paid for itself within 18 months. Still, the pizza shop owner acknowledges such a hefty initial cost limits many from buying new display cases.
While an abundance of manufacturers produce new, high-quality display cases worth a look, DiSilvestro says a vibrant used market exists both online and in restaurant supply stores.
“I wouldn’t hesitate looking for a used case, especially if you’re giving this idea a trial run,” DiSilvestro told Smith for his article in Pizza Today.
Likewise, Adam Goldberg pursues nontraditional purchasing.
Seeking custom cases for his Los Angeles-based pizza company, Fresh Brothers, Goldberg employs a local tradesman who makes glass doors for showers. With Goldberg serving as the designer and handing measurements directly to the glasscutter, he bypasses a traditional manufacturer’s design fees and receives his custom case at about one-quarter the cost.
To see what Chef Jeff Freehof has to say about purchasing used equipment when the situation calls for it, click here.
Many operators have e-mailed Pizza Today over the years to inquire aboiut the proper method of freezing dough to maximize a batch’s shelf life. The truth of the matter, however, is that raw, live dough is difficult to freeze. To do it correctly, a blast freezer is required. And that’s a significant investment.
When freezing dough in a regular freezer, which likely operates around -20 F, damaging ice crystals form inside the yeast cells and viability is limited to somewhere between 10 and 15 days. So the short answer is this: don’t do it!
To learn more about how temperatures affect your pizza dough, click here.
Adding a Coffee Bar?
Americans are in love with their coffee more than ever. The decade-long trend of consuming high-end espressos, lattes and cappuccinos shows no sign of slowing, and smart restaurateurs are getting into the act by using coffee bars as a growth tool.
At many of the nation’s hottest Neapolitan pizzerias, such as Spacca Napoli in Chicago or Marco’s in Denver, an espresso lineup is more than an afterthought. Realizing coffee goes hand in hand with Italian cuisine and culture, pizzerias of this ilk have found a way to turn a coffee menu into a strong revenue stream. Nick Strawhecker, chef/owner of Dante Pizzeria in Omaha, Nebraska, says, “I can’t even imagine working in a restaurant without espresso.”
If you’d like to add a coffee bar to your pizzeria, start with a high quality product, such as an Italian espresso. Drip coffee may have worked in a 1960s diner, but it’s not going to cut it here. Many coffee companies will supply you with an espresso machine and mugs, saucers, etc. so long as you commit to purchasing their beans. It’s a great way to start as long as you don’t mind missing the branding opportunity that comes with having your own mugs.
Getting the word out is a key component to a successful coffee program. For tips on marketing your new coffee offerings, click here.
Featured Recipe — Sausage-stuffed Ravioli with Basil Cream Sauce
This recipe is a favorite of Pizza Today staffers Jeremy White and Rick Daugherty. Try it out in your shop and see if your customers agree!
2 tablespoons butter
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 basil leaves, chiffonade
For the rest of this delicious recipe, click here.