Within the almost three years that Joanie’s Pizza has been open in Chelmsford, they’ve developed relationships with loyal prospects who hold coming again to — and who’ve kindly unfold the phrase about — their not-quite-New York, not-quite-New Haven pizza.
House owners and husband and spouse Dan Rodriguez and Anne Thompson mentioned the regional love and constructive opinions for his or her extra elevated pies has saved them busy, giving the enterprise sufficient to reinvest in itself every year.
However then a blessing and a curse of kinds occurred. Dave Portnoy, the controversial Barstool Sports activities founder and influential pizza reviewer, caught wind of the word-of-mouth press Joanie’s had acquired.
Portnoy was again in his residence state for the Military/Navy recreation Dec. 9 and thought he’d see if this take-out-only spot exterior of Lowell was actually definitely worth the hype.
After “one chew,” Portnoy gave Joanie’s an 8.4 out of 10, which, in accordance with his score system, meant it was “spectacular.” He would have given it a good increased 8.6 — a 6.5 or increased tends to be adequate reward from Portnoy — however he prefers his pizza with out the grated laborious cheese that was sprinkled on high of his Joanie’s pie.
“How doesn’t this place have a line across the nook?” Portnoy mentioned within the video evaluate. He’s gone on to say on social media that Joanie’s is his favorite pizza in Massachusetts and that he doesn’t care “if others have scored increased prior to now.”
After Portnoy’s evaluate was posted on-line, Rodriguez mentioned there’s been a line out the door each day. As has been the case with highly-ranked pizzerias on One Chew: If Portnoy likes it, individuals will are available droves — whether or not you’re ready or not.
Rodriguez and Thompson burdened that they’re grateful to get this quantity of enterprise.
“It’s actually cool when individuals like your pizza,” Rodriguez mentioned. “Particularly somebody who … he eats pizza each day. It’s very flattering.”
A typical weekday at Joanie’s might have meant 100 pizzas ordered. On their busiest day, a Friday, they might promote out at 300 pizzas.
For the reason that evaluate, they’ve hit 400 orders simply each day they’re open, Tuesday to Saturday, with a line wrapping across the Chelmsford strip mall. They promote out of pizzas on Fridays now round 4 p.m., with individuals who have generally traveled so far as Montreal ready in line for hours.
This has introduced some issues within the store that’s only one,000 sq. toes and has one oven, Rodriguez mentioned. The restaurant additionally doesn’t have any seating.
Rodriguez and Thompson mentioned they needed to double their workers — going from a really small crew of six workers to a barely larger workers of 12 — they usually’ve briefly stopped accepting orders through telephone or on-line.
“I used to be conscious of the opinions and who he was and that it was an enormous deal. However I’m considering, ‘OK, massive deal is sort of a weekend,’” mentioned Thompson, who added that they’ve remained this busy happening 4 weeks now.
Within the meantime they’re bettering their system to take extra orders extra effectively, however that’s nonetheless weeks out, Thompson mentioned.
So a part of their plan is to attend it out till the excitement dies down — if it dies down.
“Proper now it looks like we’re driving a bronco, and each day you’re simply attempting to hold on,” Thompson jokes. “Our precedence is to make our product — get the most effective pizza we will out the door.”
A tip for many who’d prefer to attempt Joanie’s: Rodriguez mentioned the wait time they provide you is the wait time you’re more likely to wait. So if they are saying 2 hours, nicely, you’re ready 2 hours for pizza. However in accordance with Portnoy, you’d be ready for the most effective pizza within the commonwealth.
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