Tom: In a few months, we had an o;ce with a receptionist and two phone lines. We were movin’ on up! If
you wanted to be on the Internet, only one person could
be on the phone. It was like working in a closet; you
could hear every conversation everyone had. We had just
launched the website and brought on a graphic designer.
Six months into the website, we had 100 visitors in one
day—we thought we had arrived.
Linda: One thing that amazes me about Steve is that he’s
always gotten the technology. He wanted a website in
1997; I didn’t know what a website was back then! We
wrote about online ordering in the late ’90s, and now people order from their phones. We’ve always talked about
how independents can stay competitive with the big boys.
Sherlyn Clark, circulation manager: I started here in
2000 as o;ce manager. ;ey’d just transitioned to an
actual o;ce, and I dropped o; a resume on my lunch
break. Steve explained the magazine was for the pizza
industry, and I was just in awe. When I first started, our
mailing list was all me. ;e mail truck would pull up
and unload bins of returned mail; I’d have to physically
go through them to remove bad addresses and address
changes. One came in, and the post o;ce had written,
“In prison for killing wife.” Another was in prison for
Steve: We started the U.S. Pizza Team (USPT) in 2000,
and it has been a treasure trove of opportunities for so
many people. A lot of people just love the name—like
it’s part of the government! I was inspired by the movie
Dumb and Dumber, when the Swedish Bikini Team shows
up. It stuck in my head—is it real or fake? Let’s make a
real one: ;e U.S. Pizza Team. ;e first year we went to
Italy, we took three people to compete at the World Pizza
Championship—a pizza spinner, a culinary expert, and a
guy who had convinced me he made pizzas for the White
House, which turned out not to be true. ;at was the first
time an American, Tony Gemignani, won for spinning,
and we got calls from the BBC. We realized the team
was publicity gold, and ever since, we’ve tried to build it,
Putting in a Good Word: splat!
the united states pizza team, shown here in
2008 at the eiffel tower, has long been a way
for pmq to help pizzaioli earn publicity for their
shops and showcase their pizza skills.