December 1, 2012 |

A Conversation with Rick Drury, Precinct Pizza NY, Tampa, FL

By Pizza Today

Conversation, December 2012 What’s in a name? — The name was thought up by my wife, Jessica. We had come up with a gold shield logo, which is what I used to carry on me as a New York City Paramedic. My NYC Shield number was 7113, which is used in the logo. The “1” in the circle shows which store number we are, because we believed from day one that we would eventually open up more stores or franchise our concept. After looking at my badge, we changed “Emergency Medi­cal Services” to “Emergency Pizza Services,” changed the “State of New York” to “State of Hunger,” and changed the center NY crest to a crest with Jessica and I holding a pizza box.

When I see the logo, it often reminds me of my time as a New York City EMT and paramedic. I worked for 50V, the busiest 911 ambulance in all of New York City. It was an exciting job and one that I took as an honor to serve the citizens of NYC.

The biggest memory that the Precinct Pizza (PP) shield invokes for me is my son. He was 15 months old on 9/11. My wife did not know where I was for the majority of that day, and I told her that I had to go there. I was on my way to one of my EMT jobs when the first plane hit. I called her and told her to wake up and turn the TV on. I returned a bit after midnight that day to a very scared wife. I had to take my clothes off in the backyard before enter­ing the house because I smelled so bad from all the dust and debris. But the strongest memory for me was watching my 15-month-old son just crawling around the room as happy as he could be, oblivious to the life-changing event that had just occurred, while my wife and I just hugged and cried. I will never forget that.

I am New York born & raised — moved to Florida in 2005, when I was 37.
New York pizza is the only pizza I know, and as far as I am concerned, the only real pizza style. Pre­cinct Pizza is the New York Pizza Authority!

There is never a cold spot in our (rotating) oven. Because ours rotates, no one can put the pizza in the same spot. It also makes sure that the pizza gets an even bake. Because there are four decks, the pizza maker loads on the top one first, then as that one fills up, they go to the second one, and so on. By the time you go through to the fourth deck, the pies from the top are finished, taken out, and they can reheat up again. It is great for a high volume store like ours.

We have had a great deal of interest in franchising our concept, but we do not believe that we are ready yet. Several people have been waiting, but they must be patient, and remain on hold until we finish our franchising design and infrastructure. My wife, Jessica, and I want to make sure that everything is perfect before we replicate our concept.
We have many training manuals done, but still have a few more to finish. When we do offer PP for franchising, we will be sure that PP will have everything done to ensure the greatest possibility for success. We will offer in-store training on not just making the food as we want, but training on food ordering, squad scheduling, accounting, profit and loss analysis, vendor and landlord negotiations, squad training, marketing, customer retention, food handling, and many other topics. The goal of PP is to have everything ready to offer franchises by the end of 2013.