QUINCY, MASS. – February 17, 2021 – Two of New England’s most successful grassroots efforts to support local eateries in the Era of Covid have united to promote Bay State-made pizza, representing enthusiasts from both sides of Boston and from all races, creeds, religions and political & pizza persuasions.
“All we are saying … is give pizz-a chance,” chanted Greater Boston pizza-krishnas Steve D’Amato and Kerry J. Byrne, in a song of solidarity hummed last week at Boardwalk Pizza on the Boston Harbor waterfront in Marina Bay.
“Massachusetts is home to some of the most delicious pizza, most diverse styles and most unique pizza traditions in America representing a broad range of cultures, influences and ethnicities,” they added harmoniously, in a delicious tomato-sauce-coated coda. “It’s time we put Massachusetts pizza on the national culinary map while supporting hundreds of small local businesses.”
East Boston native D’Amato, is the founder of the North Shore-based Facebook group Boston Pizza Wars; Byrne, a Quincy native, created the year-old Facebook group South Shore Bar Pizza Social Club.
Together, these groups represent 42,000 passionate pizzaniks, almost all of them in Eastern Massachusetts.
Their union was completed in early February, during the first-ever meeting between these two groups, bridging the cultural chasm that otherwise separates North Shore from South Shore.
“We hope Massachusetts media outlets, chambers of commerce, tourism boards, government officials and other civic organizations, anyone with a vested interest in the success of our businesses and our communities, will join us in this effort to promote Bay State-baked pizza beyond our borders.”
HERE’S ARE 9 WAYS BAY STATE RESIDENTS, GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, MEDIA OUTLETS and CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS CAN HELP THE CAUSE OF BAY STATE-BAKED PIZZA
1. Continue to support your favorite local pizza maker – first and foremost, if you have a favorite local pizza shop, keep supporting them!
2. Explore new pizza options – Massachusetts is filled with incredible pizza. Pick a day this week, this month – hell, do it today! – to check out a new spot in a new town or a new style of pizza you’ve always wanted to try.
3. Share #masspizza on social media – Use the new hashtag #masspizza and share photos, stories and links promoting your favorite Bay State-baked pie.
4. Share these stories on mainstream media – Reporters, editors, producers and influencers are invited to contact us for information about the latest trends and hottest news in Massachusetts-made pizza, or for interviews about the delicious state of Bay State pizza. Better yet, contact the owners of your favorite local pizza shop. They certainly have a great story to tell about their delicious #masspizza!
5. Join a local pizza support network – Boston Pizza Wars and South Shore Bar Pizza Social Club are great places to start, but there are plenty of other social media networks proudly representing local pizza. Join one of them – or start your own! These networks are great ways to support local businesses.
6. Learn more about Massachusetts pizza traditions – Landmarks such as Pizzeria Regina and Santarpio’s are recognized far and wide for some of the nation’s best pizza; as are newcomers such as Boardwalk Pizza, which wowed D’Amato upon his first visit with its new boardwalk-style pie. Thick pan pizza, known locally as Greek pizza, is largely a Massachusetts and New England tradition; and South Shore bar pizza remains a pizza world unto itself, known only here south of Boston. (But maybe not for long! South Shore bar pizza eateries are popping up around the country, including Colorado, Florida and Texas, with more on the horizon.)
7. Learn how to make local pizza styles at home – The best way to pass along local pizza traditions is to learn how to make them yourself, especially with your children. The South Shore Bar Pizza Social Club, for example, has inspired thousands of local residents to learn how to make bar pizza at home. Local pizza pan salesmen Bobby Owens of Bay State Restaurant Products in Brockton sells 1,000 bar pizza pans in a normal year. Last year he sold 5,000! Mostly to home chefs who taught themselves this local culinary tradition at home.
8. Build and promote pizza tours of your city, town, or region – Culinary tourism is a proven formula for building brand awareness for communities around the world. Consider building walking and driving tours of the best pizza joints in your town or region and promoting them via your various networks. South Shore bar pizza enthusiast James Gullage, an accountant from Braintree, is among those leading the charge. He has personally built and shared a dozen different bar pizza tours.
9. Encourage your local officials to promote #masspizza – Reach out to local leaders and officials in your community, tell them about the #masspizza movement and encourage them to support the effort. It will help them help your communities and small businesses in their time of need.