Pizza di Joey is a Veteran owned and operated small business serving authentic, NY-style brick oven pizza by the slice! We use traditional baking techniques and the best ingredients to show Marylanders what real pizza is.
We say we serve authentic NY-style pizza, because we do! Our pizza has a thin crust, not too much sauce, not too much cheese, and our pizza crust is baked ALL THE WAY. You can grab a slice, fold it, and continue walking down the street, just like we do in NYC and the Jersey Shore. Oh! And that char on the bottom means we did it right! Our dough is made in-house and cold fermented. We don’t play around. We do this for real! We were also just voted Best of Baltimore 2020 Pizza in The Baltimore Sun’s Readers’ Choice Poll. Without my amazing team and wonderful customers, this award would not have been possible.
As a veteran, how has your service helped you in business and how have you been able to pay it forward?
It was an honor to serve our nation. I can talk for days about how my time in the military prepared me for business. In short, the military trains “improvise, adapt and overcome.” Being prepared for any situation out to sea, on the ground, in a pizza food truck or a pizzeria located in the heart of Baltimore City is critical. Never stopping until the mission is complete is the true key to success though! In the Navy, our missions needed to be completed no matter the obstacle. I have that same attitude every day with Pizza di Joey.
As a Veteran and resident here in South Baltimore, I volunteer and serve on the Board of Directors for The Baltimore Station, a local non-profit organization helping homeless Veterans transition from poverty and addiction to self-sufficiency. I believe not only in helping my fellow Veterans, but uplifting my community as well. Working with The Baltimore Station allows me to focus my efforts on mitigating drug abuse and poverty in South Baltimore.
How were you able to pivot during the COVID19 crisis and as we begin to transition again?
Leveraging those skills I honed in the military and from my time operating my pizza food truck, I was able to redesign about 50 percent of my business to adapt and confront those challenges. We continued to practice our stringent food safety protocols and focused our kitchen and food service on pick-up through a curbside carry-out window (The Pizza Window) and an in-house delivery service. This compelled us to redesign our space. Our FOH became our BOH, and vice versa. My beautiful bar top became a very large and expensive shelving unit to store our columns of pizza boxes and carry-out containers. We began adding to and changing our menu items to keep our customers interested, as we were one of the only food service establishments still operating on our side of town. New items such as Personal Pie Pizza Kits were perfect DIYs for quarantine. I also ensured my presence on social media was constant, so that my customer base would remain confident in our continued operation. I also never drew direct attention to COVID19 in any of my posts or videos. Everyone was hearing enough about it on the news. I wanted to provide a sense of normalcy.