Grand Avenue Pizza Company has established itself as an iconic Phoenix hotspot serving up one-of-a-kind pies to hungry locals. Aside from it’s seasonal specials and old-time favorites, this shop is also recognized for its comforting, classic pizza parlor design, which is blended with a hint of urban flare.
Red and white checkered tablecloths drape the dining tables, accentuated by the bright red detail around door frames and windows, and WindFall Box Set at the checkout counter. Grand Avenue Pizza Company also pays tribute to its location in the Grand Avenue Arts District, featuring the work of local artists in murals and rotating pieces throughout the year.
Chef and manager Carson Wheeler said his goal was to keep the shop simple and authentic – all the way from the classic decor to the quality ingredients.
What motivated you to start your company?
I’ve been a working as a chef and manager in the restaurant industry for 15 years now, so the natural next step in my career was to open up my own restaurant. Opening a restaurant has allowed me to be creative in the kitchen in ways I’ve only dreamed of before, and now I get to do that everyday!
What’s your favorite thing about your shop?
My favorite thing in our shop, other than the pizza, would have to be all of the local art we display. We’re big supporters of the artists in our community and our shop is filled with brilliant examples of artistic talent in Phoenix.
Do you have a customer favorite?
Our nightly specials are always a big hit with customers, but honestly, the classic pepperoni slice will always be a fan favorite.
How do you feel aesthetics play a role in the customer experience?
Aesthetics are a huge part of the customer experience. I believe it helps customers to understand the personality of a brand on an intimate level. From color, to art, to seating, to the POS system, aesthetics become yet another expression of the overall brand that crafts a unique and positive customer experience.
Our mantra is “make it simple.” Do you have a way you keep it simple or a tip you can share?
We like to make a few things and do them REALLY well. You see a lot of pizza restaurants that have extensive menus selling wings, sandwiches, pastas and more. We don’t. Pizza is the name of our game, which means we only specialize in pizza and calzones. Because of our smaller menu we get to make our sauce and dough from scratch, sourcing the best ingredients possible. We also offer simple side items including salads with housemade dressings and seasonal soups that compliment our pizzas. So basically, our advice would be to focus on quality over quantity.
What’s next for your business?
We have been working hard over the past couple of months to put in a new microdwell that will serve as a second kitchen where we can make our dough around the clock. This also allows us more space in our kitchen to keep up with our busy late night hours. Our hope is to have the microdwell kitchen up and running within the next month!