Pizza inside a box made of pizza. Mini pizzas on top of a larger pizza. A vast collection of more than 700 artistic boards featuring laugh-out-loud
funny food puns and artwork celebrating American
pop culture. Vinnie’s Pizzeria, in the neighborhoods of
Williamsburg and Greenpoint in Brooklyn, New York,
is quickly becoming recognized for its outside-the-box
creativity that regularly garners media attention.
PMQ Pizza Magazine sat down with Vinnie’s co-owner
Sean Berthiaume to learn about the inspiration behind
his creative specialty pizza boards and what he believes
every pizzeria must possess before media attention can
create any real impact.
PMQ: HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN PIZZA?
Berthiaume: My business partners and I all worked
as managers in pizzerias in Massachusetts throughout
college. We were always promised our own stores if we
worked hard enough, but nothing ever happened. Shortly
after moving to New York, we had an epiphany that we
should start our own place. We found a pizzeria in Wil-
liamsburg called Vinnie’s that had been there since 1960.
It needed some work and already had several di;erent
owners. We took it over in 2007 and kept the classic
New York recipe but also brought in our own specialty,
vegan and gluten-free items. Two years later, we opened
the Greenpoint location.
PMQ: SPEAKING OF VEGANS, A LOT OF YOUR
MENU IS VEGETARIAN- AND VEGAN-FRIENDLY. IS
THAT DEMOGRAPHIC A LARGE PERCENTAGE OF
YOUR CUSTOMER BASE?
Berthiaume: Yes. Twenty-five percent of the pizza we
sell is vegan. We saw a lot of vegans at the last pizzeria
we worked at, and we didn’t have anything to give them
except a pizza without cheese. We made it our mission to
cater to them at Vinnie’s. We have a lot of vegan friends
and ask them for advice—listening to what they want
Meet the man behind the pizza box made of pizza and the funniest specials board in the biz.
By Liz Barrett | Photos provided by Vinnie's Pizzeria