For those of you out there who love Delancey --the Ballard pizza joint owned and operated by food writer Molly Wizenberg and her husband, Brandon


Molly Wizenberg on Pizza, Orangette, Delancey and the French Social Secuity System

For those of you out there who love Delancey--the Ballard pizza joint owned and operated by food writer Molly Wizenberg and her husband, Brandon Pettit--but always wondered how Brooklyn College, the French social security system and a local umbrella designer figured into the creation of this beloved neighborhood staple, I've got the perfect story for you.

Yesterday, Inc. (the venerable New York City-based magazine made for small-business owners and those who run growing companies) ran a long and glowing interview/profile of Wizenberg in which all of these strangely disparate themes (and some talk about Wizenberg's blog, Orangette, and her book, A Homemade Life) come together.

Some of the highlights...

  • On being a food writer opening a restaurant: "I never wanted to open a restaurant - it was really my husband's dream. I just sort of helped him midwife it."
  • On running a DIY small business: "Right now, the division of labor is he is in there working the kitchen every day (we're only open five days a week). We've never been open without him being there and I don't think we will be for quite some time. I do a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff that makes a restaurant or a business run smoothly, but that you never really notice. So, I'm making sure that the proper signs are posted for our employees, putting out fires with our employees, I do all the scheduling, I do payroll."
  • On New York pies in the Pacific Northwest: "When he [Brandon] moved to Seattle there wasn't any pizza here like what he had access to in New York. There's a lot of Neapolitan-style pizza style here now - a huge amount of the pizza places in the city do that style - but there were really only two places that advertised themselves as doing New York-style pies and neither were what Brandon wanted or was familiar with in terms of quality. He had been playing around with making his own pizza for a long time and he finally started doing it. Pizza was always the point, and he wanted to open a restaurant where he could serve the kind of pizza that he wanted to eat."
  • On finding the greatest (or maybe just hungriest) plumber in the world: "I think we were very lucky in that we did it on such a budget, and our designers who designed both the dining room and whole kitchen area worked for free. We also had a plumber work with us on a trade (He worked in return for pizza!)."

You can read the entire interview online, on the Inc. website, and if you're looking for more info on Delancey itself (and the pizzas in question), check out Jonathan Kauffman's review of the place from back when it was still just two months old and one of the most talked about restaurants in the entire city.

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