June 5, 2014 |

Throwback Thursday: Oh, mamma! in May 1988

By Mandy Wolf Detwiler

May 1988 CoverI wish I’d seen this cover last month in time for Mother’s Day! Our May 1988 issue was a tribute to Italian mammas and featured the late Dom DeLuise (1933–2009), who dedicated his cookbook to his mother.

Indeed, women play a much larger role in our industry than ever before –– and not just as backup support to their bread-winning (or dough-slinging) husbands. We’ve met some wonderfully talented women who have forged their own way in an industry where failure is more likely than success.

Laura Meyer of Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco is one such pizzaiolo who has been making a name for herself not only stateside, but internationally as well. Meyer won a pizza championship in Italy last year, and placed in the top 4 at International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas.

I spent time with Hedy Jarras of Sweet Tomatoes Pizza several years ago and was impressed by her tenacity and drive. Both have led to her success, and she now has four stores in the Boston area.

If you attended Pizza Expo this year, you might have sat in on a seminar led by rising stars Jen Zeuner and Anne Keller of Hot Tomato in Fruita, Colorado. Zeuner and Keller have owned the pizza scene in their small town and garnered names for themselves as activists and community leaders.

The list of successful industry women we could name is endless. In our May 1988 issue, Andrew and Alex Costa of Gina’s Pizza in Corona del Mar, California, perhaps said it best when describing their mother, Gina Costa: “Gina is very happy to be a mom and grandmother but, most of all, she is proud of her success as a pizza entrepreneur.”