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TRANSCRIPT | How they spent their dough

Laura Weber-Davis: It’s October 14, 1984. Tiger Stadium in Southwest Detroit.

Vin Scully: The fog persists in Detroit, a 30% chance of showers, but nothing will dim the enthusiasm of the fans inside Tiger Stadium, the site of game five of the 1984 World Series.

Laura Weber-Davis: The feeling at Tiger Stadium is electric. For the first time since 1968, the Tigers have a shot at baseball’s biggest prize. And they’re coming off of what some sports analysts say is still the single greatest season of any team in the sport.

Vin Scully: And here we go: the first pitch of game five.

Laura Weber-Davis: Outside of the stadium, it’s a different kind of energy. White flight to the suburbs. Mass exodus of business. Chronic disinvestment. But everyone – city and suburbs, inside the stadium and out – is behind this team. And then, they win it all.

Ernie Harwell: Roenicke off the bat at first, the pitch, he swings, and there’s a fly ball to left. Here comes Herndon, he’s there, he’s got it. The Tigers are the champions of 1984.

Laura Weber-Davis: And just like that, the electricity in the city explodes. The celebration goes on for hours. But at some point, things outside get a little rowdy. Here’s reporter Paul Eisenstein at the scene for NPR.

Paul Eisenstein: The fans began pounding on the hood, smashing windshields. And from there, the situation quickly got out of control.

Laura Weber-Davis: A riot, led by white suburbanites, takes over the streets surrounding the stadium.

Paul Eisenstein: A half dozen police cars were rolled over, set ablaze. The fans pelted police with beer bottles and stones and anything else they could find.

Laura Weber-Davis: The stadium goes on lockdown, leaving players, their families, the press, some fans, stuck inside. And maybe you’re like, “okay, but what does this have to do with pizza?” Well, what do you do when you’re stuck somewhere with a bunch of hungry people and need to feed the masses? You order pizza! And in this case, if you’re a Detroit Tiger, you know a guy: Tom Monaghan. The team owner also happens to own Domino’s and a helicopter. Monaghan calls up his pilot and is like, get over here. We have an issue. The chopper lands on second base. And then Monaghan sends him off to Ypsilanti to go and secure dozens of Domino’s pizzas for these world champions. The helicopter flies back to the city, feasibly in fewer than 30 minutes, and they make the ultimate delivery.

Bill McGraw: His helicopter landed on the outfield and brought out box after box of pizza.

Laura Weber-Davis: That’s veteran Detroit journalist Bill McGraw.

Bill McGraw: And he passed out pizza to the fans.

Laura Weber-Davis: He covered the Tigers in 1984, and was there that night. He says this situation was just like Monaghan – a bit strange, and larger than life. Bill says the celebrations in the clubhouse and the riot outside the stadium stole most of the press coverage that night. Of course. Leaving just as a footnote in history, maybe the single best delivery-guy story maybe I’ve ever heard. But that night, that World Series run, it has everything to do with the building of a pizza empire.

Laura Weber-Davis: This is Dough Dynasty – a podcast exploring how Michigan became a pizza chain powerhouse and reshaped American taste buds along the way. I’m Laura Weber-Davis. 

April Baer: And I’m April Baer. On this episode, pizza power and how it spilled over into politics, real estate, and more.

Laura Weber-Davis: Pizza delivered by a helicopter? I don’t know — it’s a bit over the top, but guess what? It was the 1980s.

Music videos,

MTV promo: I want my MTV!

Laura Weber-Davis: big hair, Jane Fonda workout tapes.

Jane Fonda: Lift it up, all the way down.

Laura Weber-Davis: And pizza. So. Much. Pizza.

Vintage Ads: Pizza? Pizza Pizza. Pizza? Piz-za!

April Baer: Little Caesars and Domino’s made it through the tough early years of building the business. Now, both companies are franchising and expanding – well beyond Michigan.

Laura Weber-Davis: And pizza is quickly becoming America's preferred fast food, expanding faster than burger joints and chains by a longshot.

Vintage Ad: Pizza. Shouldn’t it be on your table this Christmas, instead of that ugly ham?

Laura Weber-Davis: Pizzerias have gone from novelty to necessity in America in just a couple short decades.

Stuart deGeus: It was exciting because, again, people still, they craved, they do today, but they craved at an unbelievable rate the pizza in particular, and were so excited when we opened up in their home towns that that oh, we've got a pizzeria now in whatever town we happened to open in.

Laura Weber-Davis: That’s Stuart deGeus. When he retired, he was vice president of concept and industry intelligence at Little Caesars Pizza. But he worked in the pizza chain industry for decades–first with Dominos.

Stuart deGeus: So I spent seven years with Domino's in the marketing department in various roles, and then Little Caesars called and said, would you ever consider switching? And I couldn't pass up an invitation to have lunch with one of the Ilitch’s and a few short weeks later there I was working at the Fox in downtown Detroit.

Laura Weber-Davis: And how does this industry insider like his pizza?

Stuart deGeus: I like a basic pizza with pepperoni, and I think thin crust is outstanding because you really get to taste the toppings. And certainly who could pass up crazy bread at Little Caesars? And it's kind of like fries at McDonald's. You go to pick up your dinner and you're munching on the fries or the crazy bread in this case on the way home.

Laura Weber-Davis: Throughout the 1980s and 90s, the competition is heating up for the biggest slice of the chain pizza pie. It was hot – like bubbling cheese burning the roof of your mouth.

Stuart deGeus: It was a war. And everybody was battling for that sale.

April Baer: Okay, okay, maybe it’s not quite that serious. Although plenty of newspapers at the time were describing the competition between the top chains as the so-called “pizza wars.”

Laura Weber-Davis: Yes, exactly. The Washington Post literally wrote, “the first shot was fired on July 7, 1983.” But we’re not talking about the military industrial complex, we’re talking about the pizza industrial complex, so can we please go with a different metaphor?

April Baer: Well, what about baseball?

Laura Weber-Davis: Yes, please.

April Baer: Think of the major pizza chains as pitchers on the mound. And the American public is the catcher.

Christopher Johnson: The catcher’s behind the plate – with a hungry look in his eye.

April Baer: The three emerging pizza giants – Domino’s, Little Caesars, and Pizza Hut — are all pitching sliders and curveballs and fastballs.

Christopher Johnson: Folks, we’ve got some stiff competition today among chain pizza’s top teams.

April Baer: Hoping their competition swings and misses, while they get their product across the plate and into American mitts.  

Christopher Johnson: OOooo... ouch. Strike three, and the batter was struck out looking.

April Baer: The first pitch comes from Domino’s.

Laura Weber-Davis: And the wind-up is quick and easy delivery. The pitch, it’s a fastball. Domino’s introduces its 30 minute or less guarantee. If the pizza arrives late, the customer gets a discount. Again, here’s Stuart deGeus.

Stuart deGeus: It was basically 100% delivery and everything was geared towards the stores in terms of making the pies and running them to the cars and running them up to the person's house.

April Baer: At this point, Caesars isn’t really trying to compete with Domino’s on delivery. Little Caesar’s had its own kind of convenience:you place an order and you can come pick it up for carry out in about 15 minutes.

Denise Ilitch: And so we kind of coexisted because we were different concepts.

April Baer: That’s Mike Ilitch’s daughter Denise. She’s now president of Ilitch Enterprises.

Denise Ilitch: Yes, we were selling pizza, but we were carryout and they’re delivery. And sometimes there's crossover, but sometimes there's not.

Laura Weber-Davis: But the relentless focus on actually bringing food to the customer gave Domino’s some key advantages.

Stuart deGeus: At Domino’s, you really didn't have to be at the corner of First and Main Street because you needed just parking places and a place to make the pizzas. And – but for Little Caesars in the carryout business, you had to be visible and you had to be very convenient.

Laura Weber-Davis: And delivery provided Domino’s some stick 'em, I guess you could say something that would turn out to be incredibly important: data and lots of it.

Stuart deGeus: At Domino’s, we knew that you lived at 1508, you know, Sixth Street. and you'll hear this on the phones even to this very day. "Do you want to repeat your same order? Well, and then you say, Well, what was it? I can't remember. But the store knows exactly what it was.

April Baer: Domino’s is crushing it – rapidly expanding its brand and holding onto more than 50% of the pizza delivery market through the 1980s.

Laura Weber-Davis: So at this point, Pizza Hut’s starting to feel the heat. Going against what a lot of franchisees wanted, the Hut invests millions in setting up delivery-only stores. Helped along by the deep pockets of its parent company, PepsiCo.

April Baer: So if delivery was Domino’s superpower, how about Little Caesars? In our last episode, you heard Denise Ilitch mention that for her dad, it was all about value.

Denise Ilitch: He was very zealous on staying value oriented, not delivering, really protecting our niche.

April Baer: Which brings us to, Say it with me:

Little Caesars Ad: Pizza! Pizza!

April Baer/Laura Weber-Davis at the same time: Pizza! Pizza!

Little Caesars Ad: Two great pizzas for one low price.

Laura Weber-Davis: The two-for-one deal didn’t just make for a good slogan – it was core to the company’s identity. But this pitch – it turns out – is a slider. You think it’s going one way, and then it’s the other.  

April Baer: The name of the game is value, right? Part of that is a low price, but part of it is making people feel they are getting something for that deal! And in 1993, this takes the shape of one of the biggest, cheesiest monstrosities ever to hit American dinner plates. Little Caesars one-ups its own famous two for one deal with the Big! Big! pizza.

Little Caesars Ad: Two big pan pizzas, with more cheese, more pepperoni, 24 slices. Or get a family size bucket of spaghetti with meat sauce…

April Baer: Two humongous pies for the price of one, weighing in at a whooping 4.5 pounds of dough, sauce, cheese, and toppings. Oooofff! Little Caesars’ Big!Big! captures the price conscious consumer – the company sees more than 50% increase in sales following the Big!Big! introduction.

Laura Weber-Davis: And at this point, Pizza Hut’s like, “Hold my Pepsi.”

Pizza Hut Ad: When it arrives you better not be alone. Bigfoot from Pizza Hut.

Laura Weber-Davis: The BigFoot Pizza was the size of a small coffee table – a full 12 by 24 inches.

April Baer: And not to be outdone, Domino’s comes out with the Dominator

Domino’s Ad: Some people think Domino’s XL Dominator pizza with more crust, more cheese, and more toppings is just too much for one family to handle.

April Baer:  A 30 slice pizza that was almost a full yard long. People, what are we doing here?

Laura Weber-Davis: Ugh. God. I’m getting heartburn just thinking about it. It’s like, you know when you see a pitcher throw something so wild, and the batter just gets a piece of it, and it bounces off the ground and hits the catcher in the face mask? Or, you know, somewhere else? That was America keeled over on the ground in a pizza coma hit in the face with a coffee table sized pizza.

April Baer: The umpire comes out to give America some breathing room, dusting red pepper flakes and parmesan off home plate with a fist full of newspaper inserts and coupons for that free 2-liter of cola with your medium pizza.

Laura Weber-Davis: And then, Little Caesars is like, “poor America, let me pitch them a soft ball.” The Hot N’ Ready.

Stuart deGueus: I think the biggest innovation that I've ever, ever been involved in was Hot N’ Ready. I mean, that completely turned the industry on its ear.

Denise Ilitch: We were trying to think about how we could pick up business on Mondays and Tuesdays. And so what we did is we started discounting the pizzas because it was such a quiet day and we started selling, you know, pizzas at $5.

Laura Weber-Davis: A franchisee in Virginia took it a step further. They were cutting the phone cords all together, making just cheese and pepperoni pizzas for pick-up only.

Denise Ilitch: And Dad and I flew there. And I remember it being very quiet, that the phones were not ringing, which for a little Caesars is not a good sign and it was like a huge success. … And so we started to adopt it in our stores.

April Baer: All the while, Pizza Hut is maintaining its hold on America as the sit-down pizzeria chain for families – with lures for the youngest members of the family.

1992 Pizza Hut ad: Every day Pizza Hut has the kids pizza pack. You get a personal pan pizza, cup and cool extra prize every day…

April Baer:  The personal-pan pizza found its way into school cafeterias, they had a reading program with free pizza for kids, and they had all kinds of swag for kids who ate in their red-roofed restaurants. Pizza Hut stays #1 in terms of sales through the 90s. And it manages to capture about a quarter of the delivery market. Dominos and Little Caesars are hot on its tail.

Laura Weber-Davis: But then, the pioneer of delivery suffers a strike out when a series of lawsuits put Domino’s in the wrong kind of spotlight.

Susan Stamberg: The speedy 30 minute delivery guarantee that Domino's Pizza has built its reputation on has been scrapped by the company because it has been blamed for deaths and traffic accidents.

Laura Weber-Davis: That’s NPR’s Susan Stamberg in 1993. By now a couple other chains from Michigan have taken hold – Hungry Howie’s brings its flavored crusts. Jet’s introduces mass-produced square deep-dish – more on that later – and another Midwestern upstart, Papa John’s, would soon be angling for a slice, promising “better ingredients and better pizza,” playing off this growing belief that all of these big chains have forgotten in this war about the quality of their product.

April Baer: Laura, this is getting crazy. In the end, can we actually say who won the pizza wars?

Laura Weber-Davis: I don’t know. But I found this quote from The Washington Post. And it says, “The combatants all seem to be drawing strength from the battle, opening more outlets, hiring more drivers, selling more pizzas.” And you know, that’s still true.

April Baer: More pizza equals more pizza eaters.

Laura Weber-Davis: Equals more pizza.

April Baer: I guess that means the winner is the American public – crouching behind the dinner plate – taking home that championship trophy. Of course, our Michigan pizza kings didn’t fare so badly either, amassing billions of dollars along the way. So what did these pizza power brokers do with their growing kingdoms? We’ll get into that after the break. Stay with us. 

Alright, Laura, so we have to talk about how all this pizza power was used. Because the way these dynasts of dough invested their personal wealth has been of great consequence to the city of Detroit, to American sports, and to our modern cultural politics.

Laura Weber-Davis: Tom Monaghan and Mike Ilitch may have been at odds over market share of the growing pizza industry, but they were at even greater odds over a mutual love:

The Detroit Tigers. Both wanted to own the team, but Tom got there first. He bought the team in 1983. He credits the World Series winning Tigers for making Domino’s a household name just a year later.

Bill McGraw: Most owners, you never see them.

April Baer: That’s Bill McGraw again. And he says Tom Monaghan was a bit of an enigma in the press box. 

Bill McGraw: Monaghan on the first day of spring training was not only at spring training, but he was dressed in a Tiger uniform, fulfilling one of the childhood fantasies of his and many young Michiganders. He played catch with Al Kaline, and that just was so out of the ordinary.… He came across, while he was a tremendously successful businessman, he came across as a little goofy.

April Baer: And Monaghan – he’s on a tear. He started spending money on his other childhood loves: architecture and cars. I mean, a lot of money. So much so that he was interviewed about it on NPR.

NPR host: So 3600 stores, almost $2 billion worth of pizza being sold a year. And a couple of weeks ago, you wrote a check for $8.1 million.

Tom Monaghan: $8.1 million for a car for a Bugatti Royale, another car, Bugatti Royale.

NPR host: What is – what is the year of the car?

Tom Monaghan: That's a 1929.

Bill McGraw: He was really living the life, living large, to put it mildly, of a millionaire. You know, he was into collecting Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, meaning both houses and furniture and things.

Tom Monghan: I was an admirer of his from the time I was about 12 years old. That goes back to 1949.

Laura Weber-Davis: Tom talking to NPR’s Susan Stamberg.

Susan Stamberg: What was it, do you remember? What was the first thing you saw of his?

Tom Monghan: Well, I saw a book in the library, in the public library about him and a lot of pictures of his more better known works. And I was just fascinated with the – with the photos, you know, Robie house and Fallingwater and Johnson Wax Tower and Midway Gardens…

Laura Weber-Davis: Monaghan spent millions on Frank Lloyd Wright furniture, decorative objects, houses. And then he created Domino’s headquarters in Ann Arbor, in the prairie style of Frank Lloyd Wright. The headquarters is still there – a sprawling, pastoral campus, on a street named Frank Lloyd Wright Drive.

April Baer: Over at Little Caesars, Mike Ilitch still wants the Tigers. He’d played for the Tigers farm team as a young man. But the owner John Fetzer had chosen to sell the team to Tom Monaghan instead.

Bill McGraw: Fetzer wouldn't sell to Ilitch and I don't remember the precise reason, but it might have had to do with maybe he didn't think Ilitch had the financial capabilities then, but he nonetheless didn't sell to Ilitch.

Laura Weber-Davis: Maybe he didn't like his pizza.

April Baer:  But! Not to be outdone in the arena of sports franchise ownership, Mike Ilitch bought the city’s hockey team: the Detroit Red Wings.

Mike Ilitch: You know, publicly they're called “the Dead Wings.”

April Baer: As you may infer from what Mike Ilitch said, the team was not doing well. The Red Wings owner at the time, Bruce Norris, was getting booed by the fans at games. And Mike Ilitch is thinking, this could be done better.

Mike Ilitch: We weren't sure if we could afford it, but I said, I'm going to try it Marian. … So they had a couple other bids in there, but they decided to go with us. And we were – we were lucky. It was timing and never dreamt I’d be able to afford the team.

Bill McGraw: And he had a sterling reputation when he bought the Red Wings. In fact, Red Wing Fans have been described as like a cult. You know, the Red Wings have been around since the twenties. … It's a real intense hockey atmosphere and they had nothing to cheer for for a long time. And so this guy who has already had a track record in sports in Detroit buys the Red Wings, and Red Wing fans were ecstatic.

Laura Weber-Davis: When Mike Ilitch bought the team he was basically like, look, I’m not afraid to spend money on winning. Whatever it costs. I’m going to dump money into this thing for championships and trophies and show this city what team ownership is all about.

April Baer: It didn’t happen overnight, but the Wings eventually become an NHL powerhouse during the 1990s.

WDIV Footage: It’s my pleasure to present the Stanley cup to Steve Yzerman…

April Baer: And the Ilitch family was making other major investments in Detroit.

Stephen Henderson: It'd be really hard to imagine Detroit, downtown Detroit today if you didn't have the Ilitch family,

April Baer: Stephen Henderson is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and host of the daily talk show, Detroit Today on WDET.

Stephen Henderson: I mean, they made it possible to come and redo buildings and reopen things and reimagine things and not lose your shirt, because that was what was on the line when they started.

April Baer: Stephen grew up in Detroit. He’s lived here most of his life.

Laura Weber-Davis: Which makes what you are about to hear almost sacrilege.

Stephen Henderson: Look, I mean, I would rather eat pizza in New York than in any other city in America. I mean, they don't have –

Laura Weber-Davis: Including Detroit.

Stephen Henderson: Yeah.

Laura Weber-Davis: What?

Stephen Henderson: I mean, look, I love Detroit and I love Detroit pizza, but it doesn't compare to New York pizza. The pizza you buy at 2 a.m. out of a little crappy window.

April Baer: No words.

Laura Weber-Davis: I know. But for what it’s worth, he said he does love Buddy’s, the original Detroit style pizza.

April Baer: I just – let’s move on.

Laura Weber-Davis: Okay so, in the Detroit of Mike Ilitch’s childhood, the city had been a gleaming example of industry and prosperity. The manufacturing history that built much of America was born here. Auto plants provided good middle class jobs and a bustling downtown.

Stephen Henderson: And then it all went to pot after about 1959, and people started to move to the suburbs and we started to make it easy for people to move to the suburbs. And then the racial dynamic of Detroit kind of took hold of that happening and made it worse. White people who were here decided that they didn't want to live with the African Americans who were growing in number and assuming political power in the city.

April Baer: Detroit elected its first Black mayor Coleman Young. And he was looking for some help from the city’s business owners.

Stephen Henderson: Coleman Young approaches Mike Ilitch and – and says, I'd like you to be a partner in – in trying to reimagine what we could do in downtown Detroit and they talk about the Fox Theater, which for many decades was this kind of iconic entertainment spot in Detroit.

April Baer: This was a strategic decision on Coleman Young’s part. The Fox is foundational to Detroit music history. It was built in the late 1920s, and has hosted some of the world’s most talented musicians over the years.

Stephen Henderson: I mean, imagine going to a concert where you would see Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross and the Four Tops and the Temptations and all of these people together on stage.

Laura Weber-Davis: And it was in the gateway to downtown. But in the 1980s the theater was rough.

Stephen Henderson: I saw the Smiths at the – at the Fox in the early 1980s and there were barely seats left. I mean, it was – it was a wreck. I mean, you literally could just like throw stuff down on the ground instead of in garbage cans and everything looked like it was falling down.

April Baer: So Mayor Young goes to Mike Ilitch in hopes that the pizza magnate will put some money in this downtown gem and in doing so, spark the kind of investment that will help Detroit make a comeback.

Stephen Henderson: It's a bad business proposition at the time because everybody's leaving Detroit. But Mike Ilitch says, okay, let's see how we make this work.

April Baer: The Ilitches acquire the Fox, invest millions, and shine the historic theater up to its former glory. Mike Ilitch becomes a hero of sorts.

Stephen Henderson: What I remember about him more than anything else is that that gleam, I guess that I would say he would get in his eye when he would talk about Detroit and how he felt April Baerout it, there was always a really clear, emotional motivation to what he was doing. It wasn't just business, it was passion. It was love for Detroit.

April Baer: As Little Caesar’s grew, so did the Ilitches’ broader business interests. In 1992, Mike finally finds Tom Monaghan ready to sell him the Detroit Tigers.

MIKE ILITCH: I think this is a good time to buy. Because I think this is one of the best franchises, one of the top ten franchises in the country.”

April Baer: In 2000 – the Tigers complete construction of a new ballpark, next to Fox Theater.

News Clip: This is outstanding stuff right! April 11th 2000, Opening Day at Comerica Park!

April Baer: 2005 – Marian Ilitch becomes sole owner of the Motor City Casino Hotel. And then, Ilitch Holdings opens Little Caesars Arena to house the Red Wings, and the Pistons and – on occasion – Beyonce.

Laura Weber-Davis: But here’s where things really start to get messy. The Ilitch family name, along with the much of the property they own in the city – is becoming outsized and in decline. They slap a giant image of the Little Caesar on the roof of the new arena, and they fail to deliver on promises for an entertainment district, instead appearing to favor surface parking lots and tearing down historic buildings.

April Baer: And the company amasses a lot of property – some of which it’s not actively developing. It’s unclear exactly how much land the company holds — there are at least a dozen smaller firms under the Ilitch Holdings umbrella.

Laura Weber-Davis: When he passed away in 2017, Mike Ilitch had an estimated net worth of more than $6 billion. He had transformed downtown Detroit, and his investments continue to shape the look and feel of the city.

Stephen Henderson: That's not a free pass for them in terms of, you know, just being able to do things without impunity or without scrutiny. But I do think that, if they were to pick up and just say, to hell with it, we're done with Detroit, we would be in a lot of trouble.

Laura Weber-Davis: After Tom Monaghan sold the Tigers to Mike Ilitch, he was just a few years away from selling the pizza business itself. Monaghan sold off a lot, actually, by 1998 when he sold Domino’s to Bain Capital. He got rid of much of his collection of luxury cars and Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. And not because he needed the money, but because he was turning to a passion that had driven the narrative of much of his life, his devotion to the Catholic Church. Monaghan invested a lot of the money he made from selling Domino’s – and other various other assets – into conservative Catholic causes.

April Baer: Like founding Ave Maria College of Law in Florida. Here’s Tom Monaghan:

Tom Monaghan: None of the Catholic schools here, the majority of Catholic faculty nor their students, so we needed a good Orthodox Catholic law school.

April Baer: The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia helped shape the curriculum at Ave Maria. Justice Clarence Thomas has been a speaker there.

Laura Weber-Davis: And Monaghan was also the founder of the Thomas Moore Law Center.

The Thomas Moore Law Center Ad: It is no secret that America is now reeling from the staggering effects of a full-funded and well-organized culture war, designed to de-Christianize America …

Laura Weber-Davis: The group’s mission is to quote “preserve America’s Judeo-Christian heritage” and “defend the religious freedom of Christians.” It’s been very active in right wing legal causes – including, but not limited to: abortion bans, anti-Muslim policies, even election denialism. After the buyout, Domino’s – though maintaining a deep respect for its founder, distanced itself from Monaghan’s conservative politics.

April Baer: Needless to say, we could do a whole other podcast on the political impact Monaghan and Ilitch have made with their pizza-based fortunes. The ripple effects of money made in the pizza industry can be found far beyond professional sports team ownership. But one thing that’s undeniable: these two men, and the dough dynasties that they built right here in Michigan, helped forever change what we think of as American food.

Laura Weber-Davis: And they’ve created a world where the next generation of pizza makers can innovate and create new takes on old favorites.

Scott Wiener: They opened the door to what is now the artisan home mom and pop pizza movement. Most pizza makers that I know, the highest quality of pizza makers, some of their favorite pizza memories were at chain pizza shops or ordering from chains because that’s what lit the spark.

April Baer: Next time on Dough Dynasty, we’ll hear from this new generation of pizza chefs about the burgeoning dominance of another Michigan pizza invention: Detroit Style.

April Baer: You’ve been listening to Dough Dynasty, a limited run podcast series from Michigan Radio. I’m April Baer, mushroom and pepperoni on thin crust.

Laura Weber-Davis: And I’m Laura Weber-Davis, pineapple Detroit-style deep dish. And if you like what you heard, share the pod with a friend. Maybe while you’re also sharing a pizza! This episode was produced by April Van Buren, whose current favorite slice is a Samosa pizza from Mama Pizza in Ypsilanti, Michigan – with a side of cheese bread please. Other producers on the podcast are Ronia Cabansag, Mercedes Meijia, and OG pizza driver Mike Blank. Rachel Ishikawa is Dough Dynasty’s podcast editor extraordinaire.

April Baer: Our web team is Jodi Westrick and Paulette Parker, with help from Emma Winowiecki. Special thanks to Pizza Consigliere Holly Eaton. And to Tessa Kresch, Cate Weiser, and Olivia Mouradian. Christopher Johnson did voice overs for this episode. We had a lot of archival tape in this episode and we have a lot of people to thank. Thanks to WDIV for the archival tape. Portions of news reports originally broadcast on NPR’s Morning Edition, Weekend Edition,and All Things Considered are used with the permission of NPR. Additional audio provided courtesy of Bally Sports Detroit

Laura Weber-Davis: Our theme music comes from Personal and the Pizzas. Additional music from Audio Network and Blue Dot sessions. Dough Dynasty also has a newsletter where you can get exclusive pizza related content and more fun stuff. Sign up at michigan radio dot org slash dough. Til next time, we bid you peace. Or actually, pieces. Pieces of pizza

April Baer: Lots of pieces, and breadsticks.

Laura Weber-Davis: And also beer.

April Baer: Pitchers and pitchers of beer.

Laura Weber-Davis: And Greek salad

BOTH: bye bye