March 2019. I sat for a few slow and calm moments with speaker Scott Sandler, who owns and operates Pizza Head in St. Louis. Scott often tackles vegan topics at International Pizza Expo. I ran into him in a hall outside a conference room as he was charging his cell phone and I was getting ready to call home and say hello to my sons. We caught up for a few brief moments, gave one another a hug, and then it was time for me to head into a conference room to introduce speakers and lead a panel discussion.
Later I ran into friend Doug Ferriman, a Boston-area pizzeria owner. Another hug. Then there were handshakes and high-fives from Melissa Rickman from Colorado, Tony Gemignani from California, Theo Kalogeracos from Australia and hundreds more from around the world. The great social gathering that is Pizza Expo was underway.
Little did we know how much the world would change in a mere 12 months. Had we known, we’d have been terrified.
Now, after an exhausting and often harrowing stretch, here we are. We waded through to the light.
Later this month when International Pizza Expo 2021 kicks off in Las Vegas, we will have reached a significant milestone. It will be the first major pizza gathering since 2019. What a spectacular event it’s going to be!
The show’s importance to the pizza industry cannot be overstated. In the words of the Grateful Dead, what a long, strange trip it’s been. But now we’re here; we’re ready to rock. The show, finally, will go on.
Editor In Chief