September 21, 2012 |

2012 October: Commentary

By Jeremy White

Here at Pizza Today, we constantly strive to be unique. Like the independent operators that read our magazine, we enjoy offering quality and excellence as opposed to the same drivel that is found elsewhere. One of the things that I believe makes us wholly unique in the publishing industry is our Slice of Hope initiative.

By the time you are reading this, I’ll be in Florida preparing to cycle with my publisher, Pete Lachapelle, my Art Director, Josh Keown, and a team of cyclists from Lakeland to Naples. We’ll ride around 60 miles per day for four straight days. When we reach our destination, we’ll take part in a major fundraising party that will benefit the Karen Mullen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Last year, Slice of Hope raised a touch over $100,000. This year we’re looking to exceed that. The battle against breast cancer is a fight worth taking on, and I sincerely hope I can count on you to help us do it.

A friend of mine recently passed away. Her name was Jodi Aufdencamp, and you’ve probably read about her in past issues of Pizza Today. She and her husband, Jeff, founded Mama Mimi’s Take ‘N Bake Pizza in Columbus, Ohio. Jodi also was one of the original members of the Board of Directors for the Karen Mullen Breast Cancer Foundation. Slice of Hope was a cause she wholeheartedly supported. When she lost her own personal fight with breast cancer and passed away less than two months ago on August 17, 2012, I vowed to ride this year’s Slice of Hope circuit in her honor and memory.

I’m not asking you to give until it hurts, but I am asking you to give. I’m asking you to donate a percentage of your sales from Friday, October 12 — the day we finish our ride into Naples — to the Karen Mullen Breast Cancer Foundation. A pledge form can be found on our Web site, simply visit and click on the Slice of Hope tab. I’d be honored for you to join Pizza Today in this fight (read more on page 44).
Slice of Hope aside, the word unique was clearly on our minds when we worked on this issue. The Hot 100 independents (page 30) lists pizzerias with highly successful track records. They’ve each done something uniquely well in order to hit their mark. But we took it a step further and did a gorgeous spread on some of America’s most truly unique pizzerias. Turn to page 52 and enjoy an inside look at them, then ask yourself what measures you can take to set yourself apart from the competition.

Jeremy White,