PIE 2 PIE - A Pizza Maker’s Podcast

Take a journey through the rich pizza culture of Los Angeles and beyond. Alex Koons, owner of Hot Tongue Pizza in Los Angeles, sits down with fellow pizza shop owner/operators to talk about their unique struggles, successes, and ultimately what drives them every day. It’s a pod that you can put on while you wait for your dough to rest, or make a quick trip to the store. Our mission is to highlight some new voices, learn, grow, and better this community we all love so much.

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Friday Nov 17, 2023

In this solo episode, host Alex Koons reflects on his motivations for starting the Pie 2 Pie podcast. An endeavor to build community and connections in the pizza industry, as well as to gain inspiration and knowledge by having candid conversations with other owners. If you're enjoying this podcast, please go on Apple Podcasts and leave us a quick review. This helps put us in front of more people who might benefit from the podcast.
On YouTube, please make sure you are subscribed
If you would like to be on a future episode of PIE 2 PIE, you can slide into our dm’s on Instagram https://pie2pie.com/
Or go to: https://pie2pie.com/
And lastly, if you’re curious about Alex's Coaching & Consulting services, be sure to check it out at https://alexkoons.com/
Hope you have a wonderful day.

Friday Nov 10, 2023

In this episode of Pie 2 Pie features brothers James and Thom Elliott, founders of the popular London-based pizza chain, Pizza Pilgrims. The Elliott brothers recount how they fell in love with Neapolitan pizza on a trip to Italy, leading them to start their business in London in 2011. They share the origin story of buying a tuk-tuk in Sicily to put a pizza oven on the back of it and drive all the way back to London. James and Thom discuss growing Pizza Pilgrims from a single food truck to 25+ brick-and-mortar pizzerias across the UK. They provide insights on maintaining quality standards, hiring good staff, managing multiple locations, and staying true to their values as they've expanded. Throughout this excellent episode, James and Thom exude their infectious energy and passion. Hope you enjoy! https://www.instagram.com/pizzapilgrims/?hl=en

Friday Nov 03, 2023

In this episode, another round table discussion, this time we find out what it takes to go from popping up to growing into a brick-and-mortar pizzeria. Meet Chris of Ozzy’s Apizza, Sean of Secret Pizza LA, and Tommy of LaSorted’s.These passionate pizzaiolos recount their journey from hobbyists perfecting pies at home to opening their own beloved pizzerias in 2020 and winding up on the LA Times best pizza in Los Angeles list in 2023. They manifested brick-and-mortar locations through hard work, perseverance, and embracing the unknown. With wisdom forged in the fires, they share sage advice for those looking to follow a similar path.Learn about their trials and tribulations, overcoming negative reviews, and maintaining balance despite growing demand. Pull up a seat for an insider's view into some compelling stories of spreading joy and achieving doughy greatness through community, passion, and perseverance.

Friday Oct 27, 2023

On this mouth-watering episode of Pie 2 Pie, Alex chats with veteran pizza maker Mark Mebus, owner of the acclaimed 20th Street Pizza in Philadelphia. Drawing on his extensive experience in the NYC and Philly pizza scenes, Mark reflects on the rise and fall of his first pizzeria, Blackbird, imparting the hard lessons he learned about expanding and taking on too many things too quickly which took him away from the food.
Now focused solely on perfecting his craft at one location, he shares his enduring love of pizza and his belief that quality stems entirely from the skill of the pizzaiolo, not where it comes from. Mark explains how a quest for better vegan options led him to launch a wholesale vegan meat and frozen pizza company—you may have seen their Blackbird brand in your grocer's freezer aisle. Tune in for some sage advice to his younger self and Mark's surprising pick for the greatest band of all time.

Friday Oct 20, 2023

In this episode of Pie 2 Pie, meet Patrick Elston from Gus Franco's Pizza! Patrick shares his journey from pizza hobbyist to pizzeria owner. Inspired by his wife, Patrick went from perfecting pizzas at home on weekends to opening his own pizza shop named after his two kids.
Patrick gives us an inside look at transforming an old dentist's office into the Gus Franco's brick-and-mortar location, doing much of the build-out himself with the help of friends and family. He offers tips for aspiring pizza makers, emphasizing passion and perseverance. We discuss Patrick's unique business model focused on customer happiness over profits and shares his philosophy of pursuing family time and balance over expansion.
Overall, get an insider's view of the passion, community, and values behind Gus Franco's Pizza. Patrick provides sage advice for potential pizza entrepreneurs looking to spread joy. Hope you enjoy!
https://www.instagram.com/gusfrancospizza/ https://linktr.ee/gusfrancospizza
Subscribe to PIE 2 PIE Pizza Podcast on:
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/hottonguetv
Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pie-2-pie-a-pizza-makers-podcast/id1668271578
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7xX5rl9YlQpA8InjFpfAoc?si=e9e39fd9afd8495c 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pie.2.pie/

Friday Oct 13, 2023

In this episode of Pie 2 Pie, learn how Mike Hauke of Tony Boloney's built his empire from the crust up. 🍕🎧 Mike joins us to discuss his journey from selling frozen food out of a house in Atlantic City to building the acclaimed Tony Boloney’s pizza empire. 🔥🍕
Mike started Tony Boloney’s in an empty block of AC with plans to sell food and goods to construction workers. But when those plans folded, he pivoted to slinging his amazing pizza creations! 🚧🍕
Through grit and learning to make most everything in-house including producing and wholesaling his own mozzarella and olive oil, Mike has built Tony Boloney’s into a NJ pizza icon with multiple locations and multiple side hustles. 🧑‍🍳🛢
On this ep, Mike reveals:
• His struggles getting pizza suppliers to share their secrets 🤐
• The wild story behind creations like his smokin’ jerk chicken pizza and the Sicilian Swine Fighter 🍗
• How he manages + self-finances multiple shops 💰
• His amazing run-in with Gang Starr’s Guru...in Italy!
Mike’s journey shows that passion + hustle can take you from a small biz to a thriving brand. 📈
So get ready for a masterclass in creativity and entrepreneurship from this pizza prodigy, a true pie-oneer!

Friday Oct 06, 2023

Get ready to bake up some knowledge with our deep dish interview with Jim McHugh of McHugh’s Pizza on his 40 years of pizza shop stories. 🍕 Jim started slinging slices as a teenager when his mom got a job across from his high school.
In this episode, we get into how Jimmy has kept his employees around (some for over 20 years) with only a 1% turnover rate. Jim also dishes out his experience on staying cash only to dodge credit card fees, dealing with hangry customers, how they crank out 40% of their annual sales in the summer alone, and his wise words of wisdom on going slow and steady with expansion.
You won't want to miss this behind-the-scenes look at all things pizza business in Brigantine Beach, New Jersey! So preheat your oven and tune in now to get your weekly fix of PIE 2 PIE. 🍕🎧
Subscribe to PIE 2 PIE on: YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/hottonguetv
Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pie-2-pie-a-pizza-makers-podcast/id1668271578
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7xX5rl9YlQpA8InjFpfAoc?si=e9e39fd9afd8495c

Friday Sep 29, 2023

In this round table discussion, pizza restaurant owners Alex Koons of Hot Tongue Pizza, Janet Kang of Pizza Baby LA, Paul Cody of Pie Trap Pizza, and Nick Camacho of Lucky Nick’s gather to talk about marketing strategies for their various pizza businesses. They share tips on collaborations, social media, paid advertising, and attracting customers. They also discuss the challenges of pricing and customer perceptions around artisanal pizza vs chain pizza.
Alex Koons hosts an insightful roundtable discussion with fellow pizza entrepreneurs each coming from different business models. A ghost kitchen, a pop-up, and brick-and-mortar shops are all represented in the discussion.
Enjoy this candid conversation about the realities of running a pizza business. Pizzarre marketing: a round table discussion about marketing your pizza & much more!
Subscribe to PIE 2 PIE on:
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/hottonguetv
Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pie-2-pie-a-pizza-makers-podcast/id1668271578
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7xX5rl9YlQpA8InjFpfAoc?si=e9e39fd9afd8495c
🚀 STEAL THIS RECIPE: https://www.subscribepage.com/howtostealarecipe
🌱 Thinking of Opening a Pizza Shop? Start here: https://howtoopenapizzashop.com/

Friday Sep 22, 2023

In this episode of PIE 2 PIE Jeff Barris tells the tale of how he went from number crunching to kneading dough, and how he made the leap from finance to food when he acquired renowned LA pizzeria Hail Mary Pizza.
Hear Jeff's journey from corporate suits to aprons, how he strategically searched for the perfect restaurant to purchase, the pros and cons of taking over an existing brand, what he's changed and what's stayed the same at Hail Mary, managing costs and sales during the recession, his vision for slow growth while staying true to Hail Mary's roots, advice for aspiring restaurant owners, and more pizza passion from new shop owner Jeff Barris.
Whether you're looking to get into the pizza business or just want a slice of the action, this episode is loaded with tasty insights on running a successful pizzeria.
https://hailmarypizzala.com/ https://www.instagram.com/hailmarypizza/
Subscribe to PIE 2 PIE on:
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/hottonguetv
Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pie-2-pie-a-pizza-makers-podcast/id1668271578
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7xX5rl9YlQpA8InjFpfAoc?si=e9e39fd9afd8495c

Friday Sep 15, 2023

In this episode of PIE 2 PIE, Alex Koons sits down with Zach Fishman, co-owner of the acclaimed Prime Pizza restaurants in Los Angeles. Zach shares the origin story of Prime Pizza, from falling in love with NY pizza as a kid to opening their flagship Fairfax location in 2014. He provides an inside look at Prime's expansion to 7 shops, discussing everything from maintaining quality standards to hiring and training staff for new store openings.
Zach also reveals his insights on LA's evolving pizza scene, managing multiple locations, product development, and more. This is a must-listen for any pizza lover or restaurateur looking to up their pizza game.
Subscribe to PIE 2 PIE on:
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/hottonguetv


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