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TRANSCRIPT | The deep dish on Detroit style

Akunna Olumba: Our restaurant has a pretty large kitchen. We have one section which is pretty much all pizza. So, all the pizza making happens here. All the dough is here ….

April Baer: Are you ready to see how pizza is done in Michigan today?

Laura Weber-Davis: This is pizza chef Akunna Olumba. She’s got a showstopper of a pizza oven at her place, Detroit Pizza Bar.

Akunna Olumba: The pizza bar, the main part of the pizza bar is the pizza oven, right. …Yeah and it's hot. Right now we're preheating it up to 700 degrees now. And then we'll back it back down because we don't need the temperature quite that high to make the pizzas. But it’s our pride and joy and we love it.

Laura Weber-Davis: It’s like a beautiful, mosaic tiled brick igloo. Dare I say it’s sexy for a pizza oven.

April Baer: With big letters on the front that read Detroit Pizza.

Laura Weber-Davis: And Akunna and her business partner built their restaurant from the ground up.

Akunna Olumba: Like it’s too big, like you have to bust out the windows to get the oven out. So the oven is pretty much a fixture here.

Laura Weber-Davis: So this is permanently a pizza place.

Akunna Olumba: This is permanently a pizza place. And it'll be at least Detroit pizza, for sure.

Laura Weber-Davis: Akunna is part of the revitalization happening in the city. And she’s doing it with Detroit style pizza.

April Baer: The thing is, she didn’t realize that you don’t usually make Detroit style pizza with a high heat oven.

April Baer: So she rolled up her sleeves and began to figure out how.

Akunna Olumba: Right until we started and and then it was like burn, burn, burned, doughy, doughy, doughy. So there are a lot of things that we figured out and it was probably two weeks of heartache and a lot of really bad pizza. But now it's wonderful.

Laura Weber-Davis: Yeah it is. And that’s why Detroit Style is the new “it girl” of pizza Hollywood. You know what I’m saying? It’s like the thing right now. You can find it in just about every American city and even internationally.

April Baer: To this point, we’ve been talking a lot about chain pizza. Your brands with hundreds of locations, repeating the same process in shops all over the world. But Michigan’s pizza influence is also about the independent shops making handcrafted pizza in many kinds of settings.

Laura Weber-Davis: The pizza oven doors are wide open for interpretation and experimentation.

April Baer: From Michigan Radio, this is Dough Dynasty. I’m April Baer.

Laura Weber-Davis: And I’m Laura Weber-Davis. In this episode – the biggest thing in pizza right now: Detroit Style.

Scott Wiener: First of all, I'll say this Detroit style pizza is not a fad. It is 100% here to stay.

Karen Dybis:You have certain key components that must be met. And they start with the crust.

Wes Pikula: If you talk about Detroit style pizza, you have to talk about Buddy's Pizza. So one is it starts with the pan.

Akunna Olumba: You have to have the rectangular auto pan. … And you have to have the sauce on the top.

April Baer: Okay so a little refresher. We’ve told you how pizza came to the U.S., how it rose in popularity because of the pizza chains, and how these pizza chains then clamored to stay on top. Since then the pizza culture has exploded. Pizza shops are on every corner. If you wanted to stand out, you had to keep it fresh, experiment.

Laura Weber-Davis: Detroit Style is relatively new in the national pizza pantheon and even here in Michigan, that phrase – Detroit Style – is new. But the style itself has a rich history in the region. This rectangular glory has been around for decades.

April Baer: We should straighten out a few things about Detroit style – especially with respect to its difference from Chicago style. Laura, how would you explain the difference?

Laura Weber-Davis: Okay like, Chicago style is like a round, reverse order, pizza quiche. Not that there’s egg, but that it is thick and requires a pie server and a knife and fork. And it’s messy. Sorry, not sorry, Chicago. Detroit style although lovely on a plate is a tidy rectangle you can pick up and eat.

April Baer: So where did Detroit style come from?

Laura Weber-Davis: Well it all starts in 1946 with this guy named Gus Guerra, an Italian immigrant.

Karen Dybis: Gus Guerra came to the United States from San Marino, which is a very unique location within, kind of, the pizza world of Italy.

April Baer: That’s Karen Dybis, author of “Detroit Style Pizza: A Doughtown History.”

Karen Dybis: He had very strong cooking traditions that were from San Marino that impacted how he chose to cook.

April Baer: And San Marino is in the north of Italy.

Karen Dybis: Correct.

April Baer: Yeah.

Karen Dybis: So different than Sicily. Again, these are really big distinctions within the pizza universe.

April Baer: The pizza verse.

Karen Dybis: It's true. People really get very localized in their choices of what they either top it with or what they choose to serve.

April Baer: Karen, how do you like your pizza?

Karen Dybis: I am not a super picky person. I will take a margarita any day of the week. So something as simple as sauce, cheese and basil. I'm all in. … I will take any ingredient you want to throw at me. I am never going to turn a pizza down there. To me, there's no such thing as a bad pizza. I can find redeeming value in every slice.

April Baer: I love you, Karen. In her book, Karen dives deep into the origins of Detroit style pizza and its rise to popularity. And there is no debate – it all starts with Gus Guerra’s family recipe.

Laura Weber-Davis: So the story goes that Gus Guerra comes to Detroit from northern Italy and he meets his future wife, Anna. They get married. She’s Sicilan. And, Gus picks up pizza influences from his Sicilian mother-in-law. And it's this family recipe that Gus adapts over the years and starts to serve at his bar.

April Baer: The place that Gus Guerra founded in Detroit called Buddy's Rendezvous – was the pizza style there closer to Sicilian or San Marino style. Can you sort of unpack what you've been able to learn about what he was making?

Karen Dybis: I believe for Gus, it was the perfect marriage of both styles. He had to respect his mother in law's influence, and she brought the Sicilian style pizza more of a focaccia like crust. … you have, like, a mix of bread crumbs, tomatoes, anchovies, onions on top. Whereas Gus was all about kind of the inexpensive, fresh ingredients that he could get locally. And so you have this unique combination of something that was Sicilian. But with that San Marino … that immigrant experience of loving, local and really wanting to serve his guests the very best he could.

Scott Wiener: What I love about it is that the origin of this pizza style is at a bar in 1946 at Buddy's Rendezvous. It's so easy to isolate where it happened.

April Baer: Our New York City pizza tour guide, Scott Wiener.

Scott Wiener: And it was just the pizza at this one place. And the only reason it exists is because Gus Guerra's mother in law, who was from Sicily, used to make this dish at home called sfincione.

April Baer: That’s right. Sfincione, a Sicilian style pie, again more of a focaccia-like bread.

Scott Wiener: When that style of pizza lands in the U.S., it starts getting cheese on it. And when Gus's mother in law starts making this at home and he decides, Oh, I'm going to sell that in the bar, it's going to help people stick around. They won't have to leave to go and eat food. They'll just stay around and eat this here. He didn’t know what he was doing. So he figured got to the local hardware store and pans that are there and I think everyone knows the story.

Wes Pikula PIKULA: There was nothing that he could find that could bake this pizza.

April Baer: Now this guy has been around Buddy’s Pizza for a long time. Wes Pikula, former dishwasher turned chief brand officer of today’s modern Buddy's. He’s been with the business for some 48 years.

Laura Weber-Davis: Ok, so there were no rectangular pizzas at the time, which brings us to the pan.

Karen Dybis: There's a great deal of consternation and folklore around what sort of pan did Gus Guerra use when he established Buddy's Pizza.

Wes Pikula: Because this area was filled with automotive suppliers and you had many smaller tool and die shops, the customers that talked about – when he talked about a square pizza – that there was something they had in their shop that resembled this square rectangular thing. And they used it to collect nuts and bolts. It was used as a drip tray. Lo and behold, it was brought into the restaurant. They put some dough in it and it baked amazingly.

Laura Weber-Davis: And to clarify not the literal used drip pan. A new one. Unused.

Karen:  And I believe it came from a family bread pan. That would have been more rectangular or like what we think of when we make homemade bread now today.

April Baer: I'm not even going to go there about what such steel might contribute to the flavor of Detroit style pizza. But I just want to know, Karen, can this folklore be trusted about the rectangle pans?

Karen Dybis: I don’t believe, based on countless interviews with family and people familiar with that era in pizza, that we can definitively say, yes these pans came from an automotive plant. I can’t deny that there is a chance because of Gus’s automotive background, he did work for one of the automotive companies, and because of the location of the original Buddy’s being around a lot of suppliers could have been given a pan to use. But his family confirms a lot of his pans came from a hardware store, and he would have seasoned them to make them food safe. And there weren't a lot of baking supply stores in that era around metro Detroit like we may have now.

Laura Weber-Davis: But the hallmark of Detroit style pizza is that rectangular shape and depth. And it has got to be the most famous pan in all of Michigan. A whole folklore around a pan. 

April Baer: There is more to this pie than just the pan. Preparation of the dough is also important.

Karen Dybis: You have certain key components that must be met. And they start with the crust. It's a high hydration or water forward dough so that it has a nice, big kind of aeration or bubbles. Then you also have to have the next layer is either your topping like a pepperoni.

Wes Pikula: Then they actually put the pepperoni on the dough.

Karen Dybis: Then the cheese.

Wes Pikula: Now the cheese was different. … Most pizza places and probably 99% were using mozzarella. They decided to use Wisconsin brick cheese.

Karen Dybis: And the cheese is very specific. It's usually something that is buttery, like a brick cheese or a cheddar that's going to have, like, a higher fat so that you get that caramelization around the edges of the pan. 

Wes Pikula: Then they added the sauce.

Karen Dybis: The final thing that you'll do is sauce on top.

Wes Pikula PIKULA: And the way they did the sauce is they striked it as sort of a skimming instead of a ladle. … And part of that was to create this light textured crust that wasn't real doughy or gummy or soggy. So it was a light skim of a freshly made tomato sauce.

Laura Weber-Davis: And there you have it. Detroit style pizza. My mouth is watering.

April Baer: Me too. In 1953, Gus Guerra left Buddy’s behind and he opened a new restaurant called Cloverleaf, taking his recipe with him. But Gus didn’t work in a vacuum. He worked with other pizza chefs that went on to do their own thing, expanding on what they learned.

Laura Weber-Davis: Over the years Buddy’s, Cloverleaf, Dominos, Little Caesars – they all co-existed, so it’s not impossible that the big chains knew of this deep dish pie. But, they weren't appealing to the same market and they didn’t have the same intentions.

April Baer: Over the years Detroit style pizza began to infiltrate and influence the pizza world.

Laura Weber-Davis: Detroit-style pizza was a local favorite. It’s only recently become an international super star. Here’s Buddy’s chief brand officer, Wes Pikula.

Wes Pikula: And as the years went on, different people came in, fell in love with the pizza, right. As customers. And then they figured, hey, they're doing it. Maybe we could try it.

Karen Dybis: This is where the kids who grew up on Buddy's Pizza either moved to another state or have an experience outside of Detroit. Where they come to realize a square pizza is something unique and different.

Laura Weber-Davis: And, we’ll get to how the chains caught on to this unique and different pizza right after the break.

April Baer: It seems like the first pizza chain that really latched on to Detroit style was probably Jet’s pizza. Reasonable people can disagree about whether Jet’s is truly Detroit style, but there’s no question this is a brand a lot of people associate with the form. Again, Karen Dybis, author of “Detroit Style Pizza: A Doughtown History.”

Karen Dybis: Jet’s is unique to the Detroit universe because they pattern themselves a little bit more after Little Caesars in terms of volume.

Laura Weber-Davis: You guys, this is a story I take really personally. Jet’s is my personal fave. I have lots of feelings. In 1978, two brothers, Eugene and John Jetts open Jet’s pizza in Sterling Heights, Michigan, forever changing my life, knowing that I would one day fall deeply in love with their product. Just for me! Just kidding.

Karen Dybis: Eugene and John were visionaries in that they understood what Domino's and what Little Caesars had done was replicable with a more Detroit style pizza, if there were certain aspects that they could kind of massage.

Laura Weber-Davis: Remember at this point there are only a handful of pizzerias doing Detroit style.

Karen Dybis: Now, they chose to go with that nice big thick crust. The wonderful cheese edge. To do the sauce on top wasn't as easy to replicate with the kind of ovens they'd need to use, but still has that craveable, amazing, delightfully homemade sauce and taste that their mother taught them. John and Euguene credit their mom for a lot of recipes.

Laura Weber-Davis: Thank you, Mama Jetts.

April Baer:  Indeed! But there’s an important thing here to note – they placed the sauce between the dough and the cheese, not on top of the cheese like Gus Guerra and those that followed his methods originally did.

Karen Dybis: But they very firmly die on the hill that they are just as Detroit style as everybody else.

April Baer: By 1998, the first franchised Jet’s pizza shop opened its doors. Now there are hundreds of locations across 21 states. And expanding on the strength of the popularity of Detroit Style.

Laura Weber-Davis: Other pizza chains have tried this along the way as well. In 1988, Little Caesars introduced its own deep-dish pizza known as the Pan!Pan.

Little Caesars Pan Pan Ad: At Little Caesars you’ll really see two pan pizzas – pan pan – for one low price.

Laura Weber-Davis: The sauce is, notably, not on top. And in 2022, Little Caesars starts using the term “Detroit Style pizza.”

Little Caesars Ad: Little Caesars Detroit style deep dish pizza has caramelized crispy cheese edges and a soft chewy center.

April Baer: Hm.

Laura Weber-Davis: And for a time even Pizza Hut, the Wichita-based company made a Detroit style pizza.

Pizza Hut Ad: Pizza Hut’s Detroit style pizza is back. Same crispy crust, cheese all the way to the edge and the sauce still on top.

Laura Weber-Davis: Not to draw a microscope to this but the sauce was on the top.

April Baer: But this is a chicken-or-egg situation. Even though the national chains can create household names of pizza, it’s the brilliant, independent pizza makers that have revolutionized this form into something special.

April Baer: Akunna Olumba at Detroit Pizza Bar says some of this is just Detroiters’ ingrained attention to craft.

Akunna Olumba: I think the reason why our proliferation is so great is because Detroiters, we do things big and loud, right? … And we just kind of like, we'll do this and we'll push it out, right? So it's like when you think about Motown, like it's not that there weren't other artists, other places, it's just that Detroit, we pushed it out, right? We personify it so that people, all types of people like it, right?

Laura Weber-Davis: At a macro level, the wider industry started paying attention to Detroit in no small part because of Shawn Randazzo, Shawn worked with Gus Guerra’s family at one point, and then went on to open Detroit Style Pizza Company. For enthusiasts like New Yorker Scott Wiener their first exposure to Detroit style pizza was because of Shawn.

Scott Wiener: At the Pizza Expo in Las Vegas in 2012.

Pizza Expo in Las Vegas archival audio: And this year's World Champion Pizza Maker is Shawn Randazzo. Let’s hear it for him…

Scott Wiener:  When he made what eventually became the award-winning first place pizza that year and the first time most of the pizza industry had ever seen Detroit style pizza.

Karen Dybis: And without a guy like Sean Randazzo taking his pizza recipe to Las Vegas to this wonderful thing called the Pizza Expo – that they have every year and wowing the crowd with this incredible light, crunchy crust with a cheese edge. We would not have what we have today, which is literally Detroit style is served all over the world.

Laura Weber-Davis: Shawn Randazzo died in 2020. But the pizza legacy is permanent, and growing.

April Baer: Laura, I have to ask you. It’s great to see this love and attention for Detroit style, in all its deliciousness. But, food trends come and go! Do you think all of this is just a flash in the pizza pan?

Laura Weber-Davis: That’s a fair question.

Scott Wiener: First of all, I'll say this Detroit style pizza is not a fad. It is 100% here to stay. And the reason is because it is really easy to make it well. 

Laura Weber-Davis: Scott’s take is this: the ease all comes down to the rectangular pan. There’s no shaping of this perfect circle.

Scott Wiener:  For Neapolitan pizza, for instance, you have to have a 900 degree oven and to stretch the dough is very tender and gentle, and to bake it without screwing it up is nearly impossible. On the other hand, to make a good Detroit style pizza, it's a dough that sits in the pan. So once you've pressed it into the pan, all you have to do is wait for it to rise enough. And then you toss more cheese than you need. The cheese burns along the edge. And when you take it out of the pan, what's not to love?

Karen Dybis: I think that's what makes it so important as a food history and as something that is unique to Detroit that we took something that seems simple on the surface and elevated it to this point where it has become part of the pizza pantheon that we are among the greats. …That, to me, really speaks to why this Midwestern food, we need to continue to claim it and never let the words Detroit style be erased from the lineage of this particular pizza.

Laura Weber-Davis: Okay, so we need to actually address something about the lineage. If you haven’t noticed through this series, we’ve been talking about the influence of an awful lot of white men on this pizza industry. But there’s more to the pizza story. Chef Akunna Olumba’s place, Detroit Pizza Bar is a Black-owned business. By design. They’re in a neighborhood that is devoted to development of Black-owned businesses in a majority Black city.

Akunna Olumba: My favorite toppings are veggie toppings. So if I have a pizza, someone might ask me what I want, it's always green peppers, mushrooms and onions.

April Baer: Akunna is one of very few women of color to own a pizza shop in the city. She’s actually an engineer and lawyer by training, but got into the pizza biz with a friend.

Akunna Olumba: The funny thing is, I didn't really know it was very male. … So we have almost always had at the Pizza Bar had women pizza makers…

Laura Weber-Davis: The barriers to entry in this industry for women, and specifically women of color are anecdotal, but significant enough to notice.

Akunna Olumba: We were doing a commercial for Chase. So Chase has done this nationwide campaign about workforce development, right? And one of the executives from Chase said, “I've never seen a Black lady pizza maker.

Scott Wiener: Pizza is still absolutely white male dominated.

April Baer: Scott Wiener, says this is because pizza has a close history with bakers, another field that was commercially white and male.

Scott Wiener: But it's being totally challenged now, and we can't overlook what happened in Michigan that has challenged it, which I mean, Mike Ilitch wasn't the only Ilitch involved. Marian Ilitch was a huge part of it.

April Baer: Tom Monaghan worked closely with his wife Marjorie as well in the early days of Domino’s. And the same was true for Gus Guerra over at Buddy’s Rendezvous.

Karen Dybis: Ana Guerra, she is the daughter of the woman that kind of came up with the original recipe, but she also is her partner to Gus. You know, she serves as the chef in the kitchen. …Without Anna backing up Gus, we don't have the kind of rich story of what this food means to Metro Detroit and why that build up of those brands is why those businesses can be here today.

Laura Weber-Davis: But the vast majority of independent pizza places in the city are still white-owned.

Stephen Henderson: There are barriers – historic barriers – which place way more capital and access to capital in white hands than in Black hands. Look, that's the story of Detroit right now.

Laura Weber-Davis: That’s Stephen Henderson. He’s host of Detroit Today on WDET, founder of Bridge Detroit, and a lifelong Detroiter.

Stephen Henderson: I mean, you've got a Black majority in a city that has all of these tremendous assets and potential assets, and they can't be leveraged properly for the benefit of the population because that population is Black. There's no other way to describe that. At the same time, you are starting to see things like Black-owned pizza places. I mean, just just that phrase in Detroit is a strange one, right? There historically haven’t been very many.

April Baer: The bigger Detroit style gets, the more hands in the food scene are on it. Pizza is modern American food. It’s everyone’s food. Pizza for the people. Imported by immigrants who came to this country in pursuit of a better life. And so we’re going to bring it back to where we began: an immigrant story.

Laura Weber-Davis: And even though we view it as fundamentally Italian, the dough ball was picked up by all kinds of Americans and immigrants who ran it down the field. In his autobiography Tom Monaghan noted in his earliest pizza days he went to New York to eat pizza he expected was made by all Italians. But when he got there he was surprised to find that the pizza makers were mostly Jewish and Filipino.

April Baer: Mike Ilitch’s family was from Macedonia. Gus Guerra was from Italy. Pizza, like America, like Michigan, is an immigrant story. And it’s why pizza – and the industry – continue to evolve and be shaped by all kinds of American innovators. We’ve met so many people on our pizza journey who continue to put their own stamp on the industry.

Ali Beydoun: Hi, my name is Ali Beydoun. I'm a pizza maker. I've been making pizzas for 24 years. … And one of my favorite foods is, of course, pizza. I love my pizza very thin, light cheese, lots of tomatoes.

Laura Weber-Davis: One of the best crusts you will find in Detroit today can be found in the southwest part of the city – which has traditionally drawn immigrants to the city. It’s where Ali Beydoun got into the business, with a neighborhood shop called Sicily’s. Ali bought the place after he came to the U.S. from Lebanon.

Ali Beydoun: Well, I took it over in ‘99 from someone else, it was an acquisition. I started as a gas station clerk. …And I was fixing, repairing cars as a helper. Then I became a mechanic with my own shop. It was very challenging. This place came up and that's where I found an opportunity and an income. It wasn't a passion, frankly. … This is a very familiar pattern as many immigrants do, you just follow the opportunity.

Laura Weber-Davis: His award winning pies are masterpieces of simplicity, grounded with a sourdough crust affectionately referred to around the shop as “mother.”

April Baer: Smells like a beer.

Ali Beydoun: Well I’ve heard that before.

April Baer: How old is mother?

Ali Beydoun: I was told, I acquired it from somewhere else. I was told it’s like 200 years.

April Baer: Do you remember a point in the business when you actually started thinking about pizza and thinking about menu?

Ali Beydoun: About seven years ago. … I’ve tasted different pizzas and one of them was a sourdough pizza. And that's what really kind of clicked in my head. The texture, the flavor was just out of this world. … And then we truly wanted to set ourself apart. … gearing up and then building this … very unique and very interesting product ahead of the curve, it’s what will take us to survive in this business. And personally, once I had this experience and I believe I was mature enough, a little bit, as a pizza maker. I really made the decision to change.

April Baer: And innovation is not just happening in Detroit.

Laura Weber-Davis: Helloooo!

Sam: How was the …

Laura Weber-Davis: Macaroni dosa? It was amazing.

Sam: With the Ritz cracker.

Laura Weber-Davis: The Ritz cracker and the chutney.

This is Mama Pizza, just a few blocks away from the first ever Domino’s in Ypsilanti.

Sam: So this is the oven, conveyor oven. … So I can make hundreds of pizzas an hour. Okay, I just need customers.

Laura Weber-Davis: It’s a small, simple establishment. Much like the original Domino’s. But the owner has his own big ideas.

Sam: My name is Sam Moti. I came from India in 1989 to do my Masters in mechanical engineering to Wayne State University. Then I got my green card citizenship, and then I worked at various companies, you know, suppliers, various companies. Then this was my dream. I can start my own business, you know, pizza, food, and people are the passion, you know.

Laura Weber-Davis: Okay. And what's your favorite pizza?

Sam: Hands down, it's the samosa pizza.

April Baer: Yeah, you heard that right: samosa pizza. It’s a pizza, with a pocket in the middle, filled with that wonderfully spiced potato and green pea goodness you find in a samosa. And I’m here to tell you, it’s a game-changer.

Sam: One day I was. I was getting ready to make dosas … then I'm standing at this big tub of potato, green pea curry ... then the bulb went off. You know, I should do something with the samosa. Then a couple of iterations, and then I came up with the samosa pizza.

April Baer: And this samosa pizza? It’s anything but a one-off.

Sam: I haven't even started yet. There will be some ginger chutney pizza, which would be, you know, what no one has ever tasted before. And there will be a green curry pizza, which is like a spinach palak paneer, a variation of my own, that are coming. Yes. Pizza is like you have a clean sheet of paper and you can do anything with it. Like, you know, imagination, right? Sky's the limit.

Laura Weber-Davis: Sam tried to open a pizza chain franchise at this location right in the heart of chain pizza paradise, but he was rejected by all of them.

April Baer: But it turns out to be a blessing because if he had opened a chain pizza place, he’d never be experimenting with Indian flavors in his pizza.

Laura Weber-Davis: All right. So my last question is, how did you come up with the name then for your store “Mama Pizza?”

Sam: The store next door, a bunch of kids come. So they have a lot of traffic going through. So if I have a big sign saying pizza, even though the parents want to eat tacos next door, kids are going to drop on the floor and cry, Mama, mama, pizza, pizza. They’re going to drop on the floor and they’re going to cry. And the mommy has no option. She can't eat tacos today. She has to buy the kids the pizza. That's how I came up. And my daughter approved of the name: Mama Pizza.

Laura Weber-Davis: It all comes back to just that, the childlike love of pizza. It’s something that starts from the earliest ages for all Americans. Birthday parties. Graduations. Classroom parties. All of it. With these wonderful corrugated box buffets of cheese and pepperoni pies.

April Baer: That fragrance of grease and cheese and pizza box is intoxicating and it came from those pizza chains that started right here in Michigan.

April Baer: This has been Dough Dynasty. I’m April Baer, mushroom and pepperoni on thin crust.

Laura Weber-Davis: and I’m Laura Weber-Davis, pineapple deep dish. If you like what you heard, share the pod with a friend. And maybe while also sharing a pizza!

April Baer: This is the last formal episode of the series but we have some really fun bonus content coming at you soon. I’m telling you the interviews for this series were the gift that keeps on giving. Weird stories from pizza driver and appreciation of ranch, all of that and more coming to you in this feed.

Laura Weber-Davis: This episode was produced by Mercedes Mejia, who loves a classic margherita, fresh basil and tomatoes, or a New York style with sausage and peppers. What a classy lady. Other producers on the podcast are Ronia Cabansag, April Van Buren, and O.G. pizza driver Mike Blank.

April Baer: Rachel Ishikawa is Dough Dynasty’s podcast editor extraordinaire. Bella, Rachel. Thanks for everything. 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.

Laura Weber-Davis: Our theme music comes from Personal and the Pizzas.

Additional music from Audio Network and Blue Dot sessions.

Laura Weber-Davis: Dough Dynasty also has a newsletter where you can get exclusive pizza related content and more fun stuff. Sign up at michiganradio.org/dough.

Laura Weber-Davis: I’m Laura Weber-Davis. This labor of love has been such a pleasure to share much like an excellent pie. Please visit your local pizza maker tonight.

April Baer: I’m April Baer. And please also save us a slice.