By ALISON GRIZZLE
As a child, I loved checking the mail during the holiday season. I was filled with excitement about what might be waiting for me. One of my greatest memories from the early 90s is opening the mailbox to find a Christmas card from New York Pizza. In my mind, I was convinced that this was a courtesy reserved for only the best customers. I cackled as I ran inside to show my mother. I displayed this card as a badge of honor; my mother, however, was a bit embarrassed that we ordered so regularly.
At least three times a month for my middle and high school years, we ordered a medium pizza: half pepperoni and bacon and half Big Apple pizza with extra sauce and half an antipasto salad to be delivered to the West Glenwood side of the upper horseshoe. Somewhere along the way, during one of my “health conscious” phases, I changed the order to include wheat crust, as I am sure that this particular choice must have cut the calories in half.
After I graduated from college and Mom decided to move from Homewood, my first comment to her was, “But New York Pizza doesn’t deliver to Crestwood.” At that moment, I wasn’t quite sure what I would eat when I visited. I think it was at this point that I knew I would eventually need to make my way back to Homewood. Last year, I finally made it “home” and am happy to announce that New York Pizza delivers to West Homewood, too.
New York Pizza opened in 1982 on Oxmoor Road, right in the heart of Edgewood. In 1986, Scott Moore and Lyn Saturday bought the business and turned it into to the restaurant that has become part of our families. Although many may think that they had a major remodel and expansion in 2003, in actuality, they bought Ward’s printing that had been next door for years and completely renovated the space. This move almost tripled their original space. “The move made the dining room big enough to accommodate big groups and helped us to meet requests for things such as team parties,” Saturday said.
The move had been on the minds of Moore and Saturday for years, but they were waiting to find the perfect place. “We wanted to stay in Edgewood,” Moore said.
“It’s like Mayberry,” Saturday added. “Homewood is like a small town, but Edgewood is a separate small town within.”
“We waited and waited,” Moore said. “There was no way we could just leave Edgewood, so we just waited until there was an opening.” As they boasted about the great community, they were elated about the recent increase in foot traffic this year. It reminds them of the years when Hudd’s Grocery was on the strip and people would walk to the grocery store.
New York Pizza has been an important part of the Homewood community for many years. Those who attended the old middle school may remember hanging out at New York Pizza on their way to the Rec or walking there after the Valentine’s dance. Moore and Saturday attribute much of their success to the community. “It’s Edgewood,” Moore said. “It’s people growing up here and coming back with their children.”
Although they claim that their success is a result of their location, I think that their love for making great pizza and their amazing sauce has much to do with their 25 years in business. When they first bought the business, Saturday began experimenting with sauces. Each night she would go home and make a new sauce or tweak a previously attempted sauce for people to try the next day.
“The 36th try was the sauce we chose,” Saturday said. “Now, I make the spices in a bag, and the staff knows how much to use. But only Scott and I know the recipe.” The menu has changed over the years but mainly to add new items. When they added gourmet pizzas, they added new items such as goat cheese, spinach, chorizo sausage and roasted red peppers.
“Over the years, pizza has evolved,” Moore said. “You have to create new pizzas to change with the times. Lyn and I are best friends. We are both creative and like to try new things. We never put a pizza on the menu unless we both like it.”
But some things have remained the same since the beginning. “We make our own dough everyday,” Moore said. “We make our sauce every single day. We cut our vegetables every day. If you got a pizza 25 years ago or today, it is the same. We even cook in the same oven.”
Saturday and Moore love their business. They enjoy the creativity associated with making new pizzas and mastering the art. They know some of their regular customers by their pizzas rather than their names and can look at a pizza and know that it doesn’t look exactly right based on the order. But they say it’s not them but the community that is to credit for their success. “That’s really what makes the business: it’s Edgewood,” Saturday said. You can stop by their store for a pizza 7 days a week, 360 days a year.
1010 Oxmoor Road 871-4000 thenewyorkpizza.com Monday-Thursday, 11am – 9:30pm Friday-Saturday, 11 am -10 pm Sunday, 4pm-9:30 pm