Has PMQ had a positive affect on you and/or your pizzeria?

We’re celebrating 20 years at PMQ and want to know how the magazine has affected you or your business.

Please tell us your story in the comments here or at Liz@PMQ.com before August 3. The best ones will be shared in our October issue.

Thank you!
Liz Barrett, PMQ editor-at-large

M first pizza job was at a small mom-n-pop place in Bloomington IL. The owners were subscribers to PMQ and kept their collection of the magazines on the back desk area where employees ate meals. I remember reading my first issue and seeing a few years worth of PMQ magazines on the desk (in order by date as the owners were very organized at all times!). I couldn’t believe there was a magazine out there entirely dedicated to pizza, so I read one after the other cover-to-cover during meal breaks. Reading about other pizzerias and experts as to what they do and what they’re trying and it really made me start to think about pizza in a different way.

At the time, I was in the middle of my college years and still not entirely sure what I wanted to do. I studied Business and Economics at Illinois State University and seemed interested in both majors but also developed a passion for pizza working in a small business owned/operated by a husband and wife duo who were there from open to close 7 days a week. Creating new pizzas and perfecting my craft was my goal every shift.

I stayed at that job for two years until I graduated and moved to Chicago to start my career in finance. After starting my career with a well-established firm and excelling in the role, the higher-ups kept asking the same question: “where do you see yourself in 1 year, 3 years, 5 years?” My answer (in my head) was NOT HERE! I wasn’t as happy. I was stuck in an office setting staring at numbers albeit making a nice salary and great work hours compared to the restaurant industry, yet I just wasn’t happy there.

I missed the pizza passion and here I am today with my own pizzeria selling those creative pies I tried making back then to test on the buffet and we’re killing it! PMQ was a big part of developing that passion and making me realize there’s more to pizza than just pizza. It’s a way of life and there’s a culture behind it and I’m damn proud to be apart of it all!

The positive affect PMQ has had on me and my pizza shop has come mostly from the Think Tank. While I love the magazine and commonly read it cover to cover, much of it doesn’t apply to my place. I have found many more helpful, candid and relevant topics here in the TT to help me improve my business. I have found motivation when the chips were down, I found solid advice for equipment suppliers and how to deal with customers. Most of all I found a camaraderie among the business owners here that could never be found in a magazine. I’ve been visited by more than a handful of the think tank regulars past and present and there are many that I consider friends. The success of many of the Think Tank regulars has brought confidence to me and driven me to push my store far beyond where I saw it peaking. I owe a lot to Think Tank and find it to be an unrivaled asset to the pizza community.

I’m a former owner/operator who often frequented PMQ’s TT. I gave a lot of advice based on my experiences and also received a ton from the seasoned operators who participated in this forum. My one belief was that it was important to share the knowledge. TT allowed this to happen and more than a few operators are successful because of it. Hope this helps… J_r0kK

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PMQ and TT have been a great help in making me successful. The people here are first rate.