I circled through the drive-thru window of my hometown pizzeria. I’d taken my two boys up to visit their grandparents and cousins for the weekend. I don’t get to my hometown nearly as often as I should, so when I do I make it a point to throw down some of the pizza and breadsticks I grew up on.
The place is always packed on Saturday nights, so I picked up my order at the window and drove off happily knowing a taste of nostalgia was just about to make my evening a lot better. As I drove off, I peeked inside the window at all the happy faces enjoying their meals in the warm and inviting pizzeria lighting. Three small boys caught my eye. They were in a booth with their father. The dad on one side of the table putting warm slices onto plates. The three boys, probably aged between 3-7 or so, sat wide-eyed and smiling as they looked from the pizza to their father.
That small moment made my heart swell. I remembered being the small child in that booth. Then being a college student in that booth with my small nephews sitting across from me. Then being a young father in that booth with my two boys sitting across from me.
I was on the way to share that pizza with my teenager and pre-teen. And that pizza-shaped circle will repeat itself over and over throughout the coming decades. I’ll sit in that booth with grandchildren one day, hopefully.
As I reflected on that during the short drive, the word “community” dominated my thoughts. I didn’t just sit in that booth as a youngster after high school football games or on fun days spent with my nephews … that communal cuisine we call pizza was present at birthday parties, middle school socials, the concession stand at basketball games … you name it.
Pizza is the most communal food on the planet. It’s round — sit it on a table in the middle of a group and encourage
everyone to reach in. It’s the official food of parties. It’s the comfort food of yesteryear and tomorrow. It’s universally loved. It’s the food little boys and girls stare at wide-eyed in an oversized booth with a loved one on a big Saturday night out.
It’s perfect. And it’s YOURS.
You, dear readers, are the collective keepers of this food. The craftsmen. The purveyors. The quality control proponents. Every single day you celebrate and honor this food so that your customers can enjoy it as much as I have. And for that, I thank you and celebrate you.
Pizza is community … and what a community we are.
Editor In Chief