Buddy's Pizza: Home of the Detroit Style Pizza with Wesley Pikula
Episode 11416th June 2023 • Total Michigan • Cliff Duvernois
00:00:00 00:40:46

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Buddy's Pizza is the Home of Detroit Style Pizza. What started as a single, simple home has grown into a thriving chain of restaurants that focuses on maintaining the original feel that made Buddy's Pizza so popular. Wesley Pikula, Chief Brand Officer, shares with us the history of Buddy's Pizza, including how they always managed to take advantage of national press to help push their restaurant to the forefront of Detroit Style Pizza making.

Don't listen to this episode if you are hungry!

Links:

Buddy's Pizza Website (Click Here)

Buddy's on Goldbelly (Click Here)

Transcripts

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Guess what?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You get a call at 10 o'clock at night.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Hey, we need 50 pizzas.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Diana Ross is, for her show, or Paul McCarney comes into Fox.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

We need 50 vegetarian pizzas Kid Rock shoots a video at state fair.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

We need 50 pizzas.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Eminem launches Eight Mile movie, we need a hundred pizzas.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

They're calling Buddy's and without any notice.

Cliff Duvernois:

Hello everyone and welcome back to Total Michigan, where

Cliff Duvernois:

we talk to ordinary Michiganders who are doing some pretty extraordinary things.

Cliff Duvernois:

And if it sounds like I'm stumbling over my words, I probably am

Cliff Duvernois:

because I am drooling right now.

Cliff Duvernois:

If there's one thing I love and that is the smell of pizza.

Cliff Duvernois:

And today I'm sitting in, Buddy's Pizza, which is home of the Detroit style pizza.

Cliff Duvernois:

And I want to explore all of this because this is just something

Cliff Duvernois:

that's known as a national level.

Cliff Duvernois:

Something that we can definitely be proud of as Michiganders.

Cliff Duvernois:

Sitting with me today is the Chief Brand Officer of Buddy's Pizza,

Cliff Duvernois:

and that would be Wesley Pikula.

Cliff Duvernois:

Wesley, how are you?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Hi Cliff.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

How are you?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Happy to be here.

Cliff Duvernois:

Great.

Cliff Duvernois:

I'm happy to hear you.

Cliff Duvernois:

And did I get your last name right?

Cliff Duvernois:

A little bit.

Cliff Duvernois:

Pikula.

Cliff Duvernois:

Pikula.

Cliff Duvernois:

Okay.

Cliff Duvernois:

Pikula.

Cliff Duvernois:

Okay.

Cliff Duvernois:

So Wesley, why don't you tell us a little bit about where you're

Cliff Duvernois:

from and where you grew up.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Oh, sure.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So I grew up on the east side of Detroit.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Originally our family came to the United States in 1964.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

We left Poland.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Our whole family, I had four siblings and my mom and dad, their

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

brothers were in America and they.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Through the years try to get us to move.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And it was very difficult at the time, but obviously they made it happen.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So in 1964 we moved to Hamtramck, which is on a border of Detroit.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And then I, we then moved to Detroit and it so happened that where we

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

moved, I was probably a mile and a half from what was the original

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Buddy's unbeknown to me at the time.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

But we only lived a mile and a half from there.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So that's where I originally grew up.

Cliff Duvernois:

So let me ask this question here just

Cliff Duvernois:

to explore it a little bit.

Cliff Duvernois:

Why Detroit?

Cliff Duvernois:

You got the whole United States you could have moved to, but

Cliff Duvernois:

your family picked Detroit.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Hamtramck, if anyone knows the history of Hamtramck,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

it was primarily Polish at the time.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It's actually a hundred percent Muslim now, but back then people

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

O went to New York, people went to certain parts of Chicago, and in

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Hamtramck is where our family lived.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And that's the area they were familiar with.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And then of course, We, they had a house for us, a flat in

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Hamtramck, and we lived on a lower flat, all of us three to the bed.

Cliff Duvernois:

Yeah.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So yeah, so that, that was how it all started.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And of course, I was six years old when I came here.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

we had language issues and.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It just so happened my father was a tailor and he was able to do some

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

work for the nuns and the priests.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So after hours, a lot of the nuns would teach us how to

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

speak English at the convent.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

That's how we got the schooling to learn the language and not to

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

get too far back in the school system because we didn't speak.

Cliff Duvernois:

So let's talk about the history of Buddy's.

Cliff Duvernois:

How did it first get started?

Cliff Duvernois:

When did it first get started?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Sure.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So Buddy's originated at Six Mount Kona in Detroit.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It was a house bar, what's called a house bar.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It was a bar in front, a house in the back.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

People resided there.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So probably in the twenties, between 20 19, 20 19 30, it was this little house

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

bar that eventually became a blind pig.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

When they, during prohibition, when prohibition ended, it became a little

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

restaurant called Fern's Lunch.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It was just a little fern in a window, and it was just a little bar.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Around 1946, a gentleman by the name of Gus Guerrera purchased it.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And he was Italian and his wife and his family.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And, being from Italy and, at the time there was a lot of veterans

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

that had served, were familiar with Italy and He wanted to have more to

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

serve in his little bar than fish and chips and things like that.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So the idea came, maybe we can do pizza.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And of course, because they were Sicilian, They had this version that

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

you can find, it's called fit, which is like a dough, and then you would

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

push meat into the dough and then you maybe would drizzle a little bit of parm

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

and a little bit of olive oil on it.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And it was usually rectangular in shape, similar to a paca bread.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So then that seems to be the origin of where the Detroit style

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

pizza came, because Detroit style pizza is a little different.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Because you start with dough, then you press the pepperoni onto the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

dough, and then you put the cheese on and then the sauce goes on top,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

which is basically heresy in a pizza world, because the sauce always go.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

exactly.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And so what we'll end up doing is it created this sort of light crunchy

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

crust cuz the sauce wasn't on the dough.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So by design the dough was not gummy or wasn't saturated by the sauce.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And the other part that was really interesting was they didn't have any

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

type of pans at the time cuz there was no rectangular square pizza at the time.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So up and down the streets in Detroit, they had tool and die shops.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

They didn't have the big automotive suppliers.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

They had these small groups that used to do the work and they had these trays there

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

that were called drip trays or they used to be inexpensive metal trays that they

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

would use to house like nuts and bolts.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Or if there was a drip, they'd put the tray underneath.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So what, anyways, it was.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

The dimension was like 10 by 14, and then a smaller one that

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

was like eight by 10 inches.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And so somehow this pan got into Gus Guerra's hands.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

No one knows exactly how.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And they wound up putting the dough into this sort of, manufacturing tray, I

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

guess with maybe two and a half insides.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And they pressed the dough out, and then they baked in it and it worked.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So to this day, the story of this pan is that it was not a food service product.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It was basically from manufacturing.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And to this day, we still use that type of pan.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So it's made by a fabricator for us.

Cliff Duvernois:

Certainly.

Cliff Duvernois:

Now, the question that I got is, And I appreciate that the, so if I understand

Cliff Duvernois:

correctly, so it was, the Sicilian style has been square all along.

Cliff Duvernois:

Okay.

Cliff Duvernois:

And this is dating back.

Cliff Duvernois:

How far?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

As far as you can remember, because

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

remember, focaccia was always part of the Italian cuisine.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It was the type of bread, but that dough had oil in it, so it

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

was more of a chewier texture.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Oh, specific to Detroit style and Buddy's does original style because there's a

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

lot of versions of this pizza today.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

But back then when Buddy's was around, it was the only place at the time.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So it was very specific, a saltwater yeast.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

There's no shortening in any type of conditioner in a dough.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So that, again, maintained that light, crunchy crust.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So it almost has, it's almost a blending of the focaccia and Neapolitan style.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Neapolitan style traditionally is saltwater yeast.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So the magic happens from the flour.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And the simplicity of that product.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And then also great tomato sauce.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So if you talk about Neapolitan, it's great Fresh San Marzano tomatoes, a double

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

zero flour and a water and then it creates a great pizza cuz great pizza doesn't

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

have to have, a lot of things on it.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It's just like great bread.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Great bread doesn't have a lot in it.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And I think artisan breads now are really popular these days.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

But if you remember in the old days, you had Wonder Bread and Silver Cup.

Cliff Duvernois:

huh?

Cliff Duvernois:

Because I gotta say, some of the best pizza I've personally had has

Cliff Duvernois:

been over in Italy, and I'm amazed at how often the best pizza has

Cliff Duvernois:

the least amount of ingredients.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

That's true.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Just like even with pasta.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

If you have a great pasta, and a great tomato sauce.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It's not like it's layered with garlic that you can't even

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

talk to anyone after you eat.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

The show is always the tomatoes.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

The tomatoes are generally sweet, so you don't need to put sugar in.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

The salt actually enhances the tomato flavor, which makes it sweet.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

A lot of people don't know that, but when you add salt, it

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

actually sweetens the tomato.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And then of course it's real simple, fresh basil, and if there's

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

any garlic, it's a hint of it.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Again, it's the balance of the food that makes it great and it's the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

initial ingredients that are great.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So if you want a great tomato sauce, grow your own tomatoes.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Yeah,

Cliff Duvernois:

absolutely true.

Cliff Duvernois:

And God, I'm so hungry right now.

Cliff Duvernois:

Okay, so Buddy's has introduced this square style pizza, right?

Cliff Duvernois:

The Detroit style pizza.

Cliff Duvernois:

Obviously the reaction to this must have been good.

Cliff Duvernois:

because business was doing really well.

Cliff Duvernois:

Talk to us about those, like first few years of just getting

Cliff Duvernois:

it out there, getting the name out there, building up the brand.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Oh, sure.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So basically, Gus Guerrera owned the business, 1953.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

He sold it to Big Jimmy and Little Jimmy.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And they were both Italian.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And they took Buddy's from that point to 1970.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And so again, there was only one place at the time.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And so it had a big folklore.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

People would follow it.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Again, it's very similar to famous restaurants like Zehnders

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

let's say in Frankenmuth.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

People know of that place.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So Buddy's had a very, well known, pizza.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And people went there and it had, its own.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Yeah, they were known for it.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It was, they had a huge following.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

In 1970, the Jacobs family brought Buddy's.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And they fell in love with it just being as customers.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And Big Jimmy and Little Jimmy were getting older.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

They didn't want to run the restaurant anymore as much.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So when the Jacobs owned it and bought it in 1970, Detroit

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

had a, citywide Pizza contest.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

They ran in the city.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

The Detroit News sponsored it.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It was for the best pizza in Detroit.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And so Buddy's was one of the entries into this contest and Buddy's won.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Nice.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And from that point on, Buddy's pizza was Detroit's number one

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

square deep dish pizza as the, as it was referred to at the time.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And during the, some of those years, different people branched off that worked

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

for Buddy's, started their own groups.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Later on, probably like maybe 10 years ago, Pizza Today, which

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

is an industry trade magazine, decided to do a pizza contest also

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

at one of their shows in Vegas.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And they created a category and they called it Detroit Style.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Because Chicago style was already out there.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

California style was out there already.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

New Haven style, all these kind of styles.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Detroit, because no one was paying attention to Detroit.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It was the Rust Belt.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Who cared about Detroit?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Yeah.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And so somebody entered it and then they won the category.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I think they were the only one in the contest.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And so all the magazines, we never entered contest, to be honest.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Buddy's just stayed to their own little niche there.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And then once the contest won, and then they started throwing it out

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

there in publications and bigger groups started picking it up.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It became a industry term now.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So it's called Detroit Style.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And I think people have seen Pizza Hut take it on.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And now, DeJorno has Detroit on their box.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Yes.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So if anyone remembers, probably 20 years ago everyone was taking Detroit

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

off their branding or off their signs.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Now everybody's putting

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Detroit on,

Cliff Duvernois:

And I gotta say that this is actually reached

Cliff Duvernois:

like international levels.

Cliff Duvernois:

And the reason why even Buddy's pizza fell on my radar in the first place was because

Cliff Duvernois:

a handful of years ago, I got to meet the world champion pizza maker, Tony Yemeni.

Cliff Duvernois:

He's been on the Food Network, everything else.

Cliff Duvernois:

And he and I were talking and he asked me where I was from and I said,

Cliff Duvernois:

oh, I'm originally from Michigan.

Cliff Duvernois:

And he goes, oh, you must love Detroit style pizza.

Cliff Duvernois:

And I looked at him, I'm like, how in the world do you know

Cliff Duvernois:

about Detroit style pizza?

Cliff Duvernois:

He goes, man, it's some of the best out there.

Cliff Duvernois:

I'm like, what are you talking about?

Cliff Duvernois:

Cuz you know you don't Yeah.

Cliff Duvernois:

I was living in California at the time.

Cliff Duvernois:

You don't drive down the road and see Detroit style pizza.

Cliff Duvernois:

You, you saw Chicago style.

Cliff Duvernois:

That's right.

Cliff Duvernois:

So all of a sudden now I'm thinking to myself, there's something going on.

Cliff Duvernois:

So I did not know about

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

yeah, he's involved cuz he was always at

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the pizza shows in the early days.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

he used to do the spinning, they used to have like rubber

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

disks that they used to spin.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Then they would have spinning dough contests and that was part of pizza Expo.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And he actually has a franchisee in Las Vegas where he has

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

a Detroit style concept.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And so again, there's a lot of different characters that left

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Buddy's or other ones jumped on board and created their own versions.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And anything else, it's like when Ford started the automotive, automobile,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

everyone else created their own.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

But he's obviously given the credit or the Wright brothers or

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

someone, there's always a first.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

exactly.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And then everyone else jumps in and does their own versions,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

does improvements and changes.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

But one of the things that Buddy's does that's unique is we've never

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

really departed from the original recipes or what was left at Buddy's

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

when these different people left.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

There was always kitchen staff that stayed behind.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And so whether someone lefted or a chef left or someone else, there would

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

always be the full kitchen intact.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So Buddy's never moved away from that.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So we build the pizzas the very traditional way same way we're not

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

putting, like groups like jets will put sauce on the dough now and cheese on top.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

They switch to a mozzarella cheese.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

They'll put pepperoni on top.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

We will, if a guest wants a pizza made a certain way, we will of course do it.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

But generally speaking, our pizza's still very traditional

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

in the way that we inherited it.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And I started there in 1975.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And so of course we had what we call the old timers, which were five ladies that

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

were the gatekeepers of the recipes.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And well.

Cliff Duvernois:

And their arms are huge.

Cliff Duvernois:

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza: That's right.

Cliff Duvernois:

Their arms are huge.

Cliff Duvernois:

And you could see, Cliff, that I wasn't going to challenge anybody along the way.

Cliff Duvernois:

I think I weighed 150 pounds and I just, I, there's no way.

Cliff Duvernois:

And but why would you wanna change it?

Cliff Duvernois:

Because, when you have a brand like Buddy's, it's, you're,

Cliff Duvernois:

you inherit a legacy brand.

Cliff Duvernois:

And I don't wanna be the first guy that does something where someone

Cliff Duvernois:

says, what were you thinking?

Cliff Duvernois:

Yes.

Cliff Duvernois:

that's not, I don't wanna be that guy.

Cliff Duvernois:

Exactly.

Cliff Duvernois:

For our audience, we're gonna take a quick break to you, thank our

Cliff Duvernois:

sponsors, and when we come back we're gonna talk about the explosive

Cliff Duvernois:

growth that Buddy's has been seen.

Cliff Duvernois:

We'll see after the break.

Cliff Duvernois:

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Cliff Duvernois:

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Cliff Duvernois:

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Cliff Duvernois:

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Cliff Duvernois:

Hello everyone and welcome back to Total Michigan.

Cliff Duvernois:

I am speaking today with Wesley Pikula.

Cliff Duvernois:

Yes.

Cliff Duvernois:

Yes.

Cliff Duvernois:

And we are talking about Buddy's, actually, we're just talking about pizza

Cliff Duvernois:

and food in general, but we're talking about Buddy's Pizza, the history of it.

Cliff Duvernois:

Before the break, we were talking about, how Buddy's Pizza really established

Cliff Duvernois:

a really solid local following.

Cliff Duvernois:

And this brought us up into the seventies.

Cliff Duvernois:

Now we're gonna move into the eighties, but the question I got for you first,

Cliff Duvernois:

Wesley, is when did you join the company?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Sure.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I joined in 1975.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

my mother had worked there a few years before that in the kitchen, and they had

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

an opening at the time for dishwashers.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I was 16.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And, I'd never washed dishes in my life and I'd never worked

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

in a restaurant in my life.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I just had a paper route.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So basically I went and applied and of course I applied with my friend.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

My friend, couldn't work because it was close to Memorial Day weekend.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

He had a family trip.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So he got called in cuz he was 18, I was 16.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

The manager said, have you ever washed dishes?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I said, yes, of course.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I washed dishes at home.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I didn't tell him I never washed dishes at a restaurant.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So anyways, he brought me in.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And of course they put me in a dish room, which was about three feet by three feet.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And I could tell you that I had a lot of help for weeks at a time because

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

people, I'm sure, felt sorry for me.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

But at the time, I was in school, I graduated from high school and then I

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

went to college at Wayne State in Detroit.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And again, started there in 75.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I think when you talk about Buddy's and its local following, I think the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

next kind of milestone for Buddy's was in 1980 when, besides winning

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the contest in 1970, in 1980, the Republican Convention was in Detroit

Cliff Duvernois:

indeed.

Cliff Duvernois:

At

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

at Cobo Hall at the time, what it was

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

called, and Ronald Reagan was the candidate and Buddy's was asked St.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Straus Beer was also asked, we Straus beer was doing a beer.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And then Buddy's Pizza was asked to do the pizza for the press Corps,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the National and International Press Corps in the dining area at Coba Hall.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Buddy's served and Strau served.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So keep this in mind.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

People like, Ted Copel, Barbara Walters, Huntley Brinkley.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I can go down the list of every single person that ever was on air from New

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

York, California, anywhere you can imagine around the world actually

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

that was covering the convention was waiting in line for Buddy's pizza.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And the funny thing about this story is we did this for the whole week.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And we found out that the gas pressure in Cobo Hall wasn't

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

strong enough for our pizza ovens.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So the ovens wouldn't run at full capacity cuz we had rented ovens because

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

we were only one location at the time.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And so what we had to do is bake the pizzas off at the six mile store, which

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

is about 10, 15 minutes from downtown.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

We had to transport to pizzas from that location.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Then we had to go through Secret service, then we had.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

People or the press corps waiting at times for an hour to an hour and a half for

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

them to deliver Buddy's so they could eat.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Of course, they were drinking strolls beer, so it wasn't so bad.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

But either way, we had signature books that we had the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

different press people sign in.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And I can honestly tell you every single person that tried the pizza

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

at the time, always mentioned better than anything in New York, have to

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

come back to Detroit after convention.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

We had so many names that we captured during that moment, and I think that

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

was another huge milestone because we got a lot of press Corps, coverage.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And then we became sponsors of the Pistons during the Bad Boy era.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

We, they actually, we had a point promotion where the one game Chuck

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Daley actually put the starters back in so they could hit the point promotion.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And it wound up on the front page of the USA today where the coach

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

from the opposing team said that the Detroit coach was bush league.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Cuz he wanted to please the crowd with some local pizza promotion.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And he put the starters in with two minutes left in the game.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So this is the power of Buddy's at the time.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And so we had 17,000 people at the palace screaming Buddy's.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Buddy's.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So when they hit 130 points, the ticket stub was worth for, was worth

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

a free four square cheese pizza.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And so we did the same thing with the Lions.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And the Lions didn't fare as well, but we did it on a field goal or a touchdown.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And of course, if there was a field goal or a touchdown, there

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

would be a Touchdown Buddy.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

That kind of thing.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So we were very present in those two sporting groups, and of course,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

because of national coverage and games and that really kept

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

pushing Buddy's to the forefront.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And every became a household name.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And of course, the style of pizza became more relevant.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So as it, as I said earlier from Buddy's Pizza became Detroit style pizza.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And, we were happy with that because we love detroit.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

We've operated in Detroit through the whole history of buddy's.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So why not give Detroit, it, it deserves it, right?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Because everyone else was knocking Detroit and we always were proud

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

to, to operate in, Detroit.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And now it's Michigan.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

We did our Great Lakes Pizza collection, which we did in honor of the Great Lakes.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So we had that going for many years.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And we, and we donated back to the Great Lakes Alliance, which helps to lakes

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

and restoration and things like that.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So we've always been involved in causes much bigger than ourselves.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Because we always felt like if we got involved, other people would see

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

that you don't have to be the biggest kid on the block to do some good.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

If you do a little, like I always said, to individually, we do a

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

little together, we do a lot.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Yeah.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So if everybody just adds a piece to it, it's easy, right?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It's like having 10 people lift something instead of one or two people struggling.

Cliff Duvernois:

Exactly.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Then it becomes easy and then more people wanna

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

do it because it's not as difficult.

Cliff Duvernois:

And speaking of pieces, at some point in time,

Cliff Duvernois:

buddy's decided to start expanding.

Cliff Duvernois:

Now how many locations are you up to?

Cliff Duvernois:

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza: You're right.

Cliff Duvernois:

We're at 22 locations.

Cliff Duvernois:

We're gonna.

Cliff Duvernois:

Yeah, so we opened Alpine not that long ago.

Cliff Duvernois:

Grand Rapids is a great market for Buddy's.

Cliff Duvernois:

A lot of families, we're franchise, no, these are all privately held.

Cliff Duvernois:

Capital Spring is our operating partner.

Cliff Duvernois:

And so we're still involved with Buddy's.

Cliff Duvernois:

But we have a lot more expertise with the group.

Cliff Duvernois:

it's a large group that came out of New York, fell in love with buddy's,

Cliff Duvernois:

and they support Buddy's in their growth and with all the different,

Cliff Duvernois:

Technology and things like that.

Cliff Duvernois:

Operational systems, they're very critical.

Cliff Duvernois:

But they've been the catalyst for really of a more aggressive, growth plan.

Cliff Duvernois:

And again, we're doing pizzas now in supermarkets.

Cliff Duvernois:

We do frozen pizzas now.

Cliff Duvernois:

We do pizzas that we ship nationwide through GoldBelly.

Cliff Duvernois:

So 22 restaurants, and so we're probably putting through probably more

Cliff Duvernois:

than 2 million people through a year.

Cliff Duvernois:

And so from a little restaurant that originated on a corner

Cliff Duvernois:

that was a house bar.

Cliff Duvernois:

And again, you could have an very aggressive growth or you could

Cliff Duvernois:

have more of a disciplined growth.

Cliff Duvernois:

Buddy's is always veered more towards the, more discipline because

Cliff Duvernois:

of trying to maintain quality and consistency with product.

Cliff Duvernois:

And again, as I said earlier, I don't think anybody wants to be

Cliff Duvernois:

the first guy to mess this up.

Cliff Duvernois:

So we have a very special product that we babysit a little bit

Cliff Duvernois:

and, and it takes a lot of work.

Cliff Duvernois:

And I definitely want to circle back to the

Cliff Duvernois:

point you made about quality.

Cliff Duvernois:

Before I do that, what is it that explains the growth of it?

Cliff Duvernois:

Because it's not like you just did this one time.

Cliff Duvernois:

You've done it 22 times.

Cliff Duvernois:

So what is it that, that you really attribute to the fact that you're growing?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I think it's really, some of it is guest driven.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

people been transplanted from Michigan all over the country.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And I remember with Chrysler, gm, Ford at the time, everybody got

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

transplanted all over the country.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Engineers, automotive industry is big, obviously in the United States, and all

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

those people that worked in automotive at the time came out of Detroit.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And so when they got relocated, guess what?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

We were Buddy's.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

of course, because chrysler, gm and Ford were in detroit in Hamtramck,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

all those production plans.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

GM was downtown.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Chrysler was in Auburn Hills, ford was in dearborn.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

There we go.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Every one of those places, you had ownership, CEOs, founders

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

always eating at Buddy's.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It wasn't unusual to have what was considered the 11th floor at the time, at

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

GM headquarters down on Graham Boulevard.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

They would come to buddy's, you could see the suits and back then the wingtip shoes

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

and the, executives would come in and we had, it wasn't odd to see Henry Ford, even

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Lee Koka go down the list of the CEOs at the time there would lunch at Buddy's.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So again, lot of this folklore got transferred about, there's.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

There's Detroit style in South Korea.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

There's Detroit style in Toronto.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Again, there's people that have gone on and worked, and there's many

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

people, I'm surprised there aren't more in Japan or places like anywhere.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You have Michigan transplantee throughout the years, And remember it's 77 years old.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And the folklore was much bigger than the amount of locations.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Like you could go around the country, say, have you ever heard of Buddy's?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Oh, yeah.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

They think we have a million stores and we don't.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

But the brand itself, the name Buddy's, because of all the work that we did, not

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

only in communities, in sponsorships, and people had a love affair with it

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

because they had so many great moments there, whether it was playing bocce ball

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

at the original store or coming in and there was so many proposals at Buddy's.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

We'd served so many of the Motown acts that used to be in Detroit, whether it

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

was at the Fox or the old Ford Auditorium.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Guess what?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You get a call at 10 o'clock at night.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Hey, we need 50 pizzas.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Diana Ross is, for her show, or Paul McCarney comes into Fox.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

We need 50 vegetarian pizzas delivered to the Fox.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Kid Rock shoots a video at state fair.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

We need 50 pizzas.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Eminem launches eight mile movie, club blue, we need a hundred pizzas.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You know, they're calling you.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

They're calling Buddy's and without any notice.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And so these are some of the things.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And of course when Michigan was doing a lot of the film credits, when Hollywood

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

was coming into Michigan to shoot, whether it was, whatever the actors were

Cliff Duvernois:

right.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Miley Cyrus, for instance, one was in

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Garden City living up in one of the bars, or whatever they shot Superman.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Anything that they, or Batman, anything they shot here,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Buddy's would get the call.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And in Pontiac they have the studios there where they do the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

editing and things like that.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And so we, again, we get the call.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So I think a lot of that with.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I guess they call 'em influencers now these days or, but we

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

weren't paying for this.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

These are people from their hearts that say We love Detroit and we love the grit.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And people in Michigan are amazing.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It's not just Detroit, but it's Michigan.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Yes.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

right.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

The greatest people you'll ever meet are from Michigan.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And I you any, if anybody travels, you hear that all the time.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

God, I love Detroit.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

People are friendly.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

They're honest.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

They're sincere.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You meet people in Detroit or anywhere there, it's just an

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

honest exchange, which is nice.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Yes.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You don't always get that everywhere.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And I think that's what Buddy's is a little bit as part of the brand identity.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I guess those are like fancy words, but it's really about the communities you,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

serve and the employees that work for you.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

They're both aligned.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Yes.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And because you employ people from the community, so it's all intertwined.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Your employees are your community.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

That's true.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And if you don't support your community, and let's say 80% of your business

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

comes from five, six mile radius of your space, you'd be pretty silly

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

not to invest back into the community that, that, helps you make a living.

Cliff Duvernois:

Certainly.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So it, it made a lot of sense, but some

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

people lose sight of it and we didn't.

Cliff Duvernois:

One thing I do want to go back and explore is the, with the,

Cliff Duvernois:

having the 22 locations, and you've talked quite extensively about maintaining the

Cliff Duvernois:

high standards of your product, right?

Cliff Duvernois:

Whether it's the crust, the ingredients, how you make it, how do you maintain

Cliff Duvernois:

that quality when you've got all these locations scattered throughout michigan,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

right?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And that's where, Capital Spring comes in and that's where expertise comes in.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Technology obviously makes a big difference these days

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

because the training material.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It can all be digital.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It can all be on their cell phones.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It could all be on their iPads, whatever people carry around.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Now you can put training videos.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Again, it's maintaining a culture within your spaces, right?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Making sure that the people that work for you are happy and making sure that

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

there's a lot of discretionary effort.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You have to earn that.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

That's leadership, right?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You just, you can't force, today's employee base is

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

different than when I worked.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You could do control and command long time ago.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

There's no, no such thing.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It has to be collaborative.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And people wanna do the right thing.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

If you hire the right people, they're gonna wanna do the right thing.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Exactly, yes.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

But, but, but some people forget the fact that you have to retain

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

people, not just hire people.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And if you lose sight of retention, that's where your trouble starts.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Because when you start losing good people, you start losing culture.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It's like when you lose the generation of, let's say the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

generation that went through the wars.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

There's a certain amount of humility and humbleness and understanding

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

of what the world can look like.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And so when you lose those people, you lose some of that wisdom, right?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And so in restaurants, what you have, obviously a lot different scale, but

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I'm saying in restaurants, if you lose tenured staff or you lose people

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

that have

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

been

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

here,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

you

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

don't

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

get that

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

passing on.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It's

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

like

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

great teams

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

look at

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the Celtics, or you look

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

at teams

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

that

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

had

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

real legacy.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the players socialize

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the rookies and

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

you continue this.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

In the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

old

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

days, tigers

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

had

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

an amazing

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

farm system and you

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

would

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

obviously always

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

cultivate

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

those players.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And the best employees a lot

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

of times

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

are grown within your organization.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

They're not

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

because you

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

went

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

and paid

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

an extra $2 for somebody.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

That was always the Yankees philosophy.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

George Steinbrenner would go out there and pay the big bucks

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

and they never won back then.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

But teams that built their players, through the farm system,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

and then you had veterans that were very, helpful to rookies.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I always built great teams.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So in restaurants, you have to maintain a culture of inclusion.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You have to reward the right behaviors, right?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You have to recognize the right behaviors, have to make it part of the system.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And then again, the training is critical.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You train every day.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You train as you go.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It's not a, it's not a classroom, it's not a, a manual.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It's what you do every day.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So if you're walking in a dining room and there's something on the floor,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

you

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

pick

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

it

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

up

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

as

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

a manager

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

so the employees

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

can see

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

that behavior.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Yes.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And then you go to

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the busers and say, I went by, let's say

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the table's

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

A one.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I just walked

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

by A1 paper on

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the floor.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

guys need

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

to

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

make sure

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

you got

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

your heads

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

on

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

floor.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Not

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

just at eye level, but also

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

looking at the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

floors.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

that's,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

you

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

just

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

did.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You just

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

did it

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

and

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

then you

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

educated

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

your

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

busers that

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

they need

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

to

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

do

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

that.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

so

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

that's

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Kenny

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Blanchard

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

wrote

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

a book

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

one time,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

greatest

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

book

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

ever.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

The one Minute

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Manager.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

that was the greatest management book ever written to this day.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And all it talked about is these 30 second interactions where

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

you inspect what you expect.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And it

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

was

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

real

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

simple.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

always loved

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

that when

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

was coming

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

up

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

and

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

was an

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

employee

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

and

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

had

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

some great managers at a high

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

level of

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

respect

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

for

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

guests.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

they

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

didn't

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

care

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

if

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

you were

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

in,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

a

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Coney

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

island

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

or

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

a

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

lemonade

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

stand

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

or

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

a

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

five star restaurant.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Guest service is guest service.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Customers come into your space, they're spending money.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You work to the highest level possible under that system.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And we always did that.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And whether it was, making sure the silverware was clean, making sure they

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

had enough napkins for that pizza, making sure you know that the chairs

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

were wiped, and making sure that we had clean bus towels and all those things.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Again, they have to be reinforced.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

They have to be trained.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And you have to have, in my opinion anyways, certain non-negotiables that are

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

in a system that everybody recognizes.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

TGI Fridays had a great thing.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

They used to have

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

clam

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

theory, so

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

grains

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

of

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

sand were

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

irritants

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

to

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

guests.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

every time

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

clam got a,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

irritant in.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

In

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the mouth.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Let's say it would open

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

up

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

and you wanted

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

a happy

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

clam,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

so you wanted a closed mouth, so you didn't want any grains

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

of

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

sand

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

in its mouth.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

yeah.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

grains

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

of sand

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

were like irritants,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

right?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

go

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

in

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

bathroom, there's

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

no

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

paper

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

towels.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

There's no soap.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

The

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

garbage can's

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

full.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

There's

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

water

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

all

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

over the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

sink.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You go down

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

list.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

again,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

we're not perfect,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

but

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

this

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

is

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

where

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

focus

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

is.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Certainly.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

without

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

having

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

commitment

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

to this

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

and

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

leadership

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

that

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

expects

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

this,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

standards

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

can go

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

down pretty

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

quick.

Cliff Duvernois:

So let me ask you this question.

Cliff Duvernois:

For somebody who maybe has never been to Buddy's, but I've listened

Cliff Duvernois:

to the show and now I want to try it, and so if they're gonna come

Cliff Duvernois:

in here, what would be like some of the pizzas that you would recommend?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Oh, sure.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

if I was a first time customer to Buddy's, just say a great italian restaurant,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I go to a great italian restaurant.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I usually eat their marinara sauce or the bolognese.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And they're pasta.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I never, that's what I start with.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Because I always know cuz a lot of these base sauces are used for other recipes.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

If they've got a great marinara, chances are everything's great.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

If they had a great pasta, it's not gummy and it actually has a firmness to it.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It has some taste, they're buying top of the line stuff.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And so with Buddy's, if I was a first time guest, I would come in I an antipasta

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

salad, which is what we're known for.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Our dressing, again, is almost as famous as the pizza.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Yep.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It's a vinegarette that's aged for anywhere from six to eight weeks.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It's the old traditional recipe.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

They're made in gallon containers, shipped to the stores we make.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

We have a little guy that makes 'em for us.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Gallon is aged.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You got celery, lemon, spices, things like that.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So you get the antipasta salad, which is salami, ham, cheese, our

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

brick cheese, in a bowl, you order a cheese and pepperoni pizza.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Maybe a super with cheese, onion, green pepper, mushroom and ham.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

But the reason you order cheese and pepperoni is because the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

pepperoni's under the cheese.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Yes.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

The pepperoni juice is baked into the dough.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And then you order a Buddy brew.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Our Buddy brew, if you're having an alcoholic beverage, is made for Buddy's.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It's a beer that we worked with, a company called Griffin Claw that

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

worked with us to get the right flavor profile that pairs well with the pizza.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And that would be your traditional meal.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And you'd start with that and you'd want to really taste

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

a crust like crunchy crust.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You'd want the sort of the vinegar bite of the apostle salad.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And if you're a real afcienado and

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

a

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

lot

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

of people used

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

to

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

do

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

this,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

they would actually have their salad plate,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

they would finish

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

their

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

salad and

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

there would be

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

residue

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

of,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

let's

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

say

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

little

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

bit

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

of

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

vinegar

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

oil,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

and they

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

would

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

take

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the crust,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

pizza

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

slice,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

and

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

lay

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

it

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

right

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

on

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

that.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

get

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

that

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

little bit

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

of

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

flavor on that

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

cross.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Similar

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

to putting

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

vinegar on

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

french

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

fries,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

like

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

if

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

you're

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

in Canada, I don't think

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

you

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

can get french fries without

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

some

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

kind

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

of

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

vinegar, right?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It's just part of eating french fries.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Or you

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

go

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

to

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

carnival,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

same thing, right?

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

they

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

got, the malt vinegar

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

right

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

there.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

until you've had

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

it,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

you realize

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

there's

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

a

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

flavor enhancer.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

that

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

would

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

be

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

start

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

of

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the meal.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

then

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

you'd finish

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

it

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

off

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

with

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

a,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

probably

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

a

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

hot

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

fudge

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

sundae.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Which is Sanders Hot Fudge Sanders, unfortunately is out right now.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

They're,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I've suspended

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

operations, but that's another product.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

The

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Sanders

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

hot

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

fudge been

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

around forever.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Or you

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

do,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

if you don't have

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Sanders

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

hot

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

fudge, you

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

could do,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Verner's,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Cooler.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

just give verner's

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

and

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

a

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

scoop

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

of

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

ice

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

cream.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

and keep

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

it,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

homestyle.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

That's the beauty of michigan.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

We have so many cool products.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Do.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And I think again, if you travel the state, you could probably go anywhere

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

and find little pockets of, pasti.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

There's always stuff yeah.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Little pockets of Wow.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I, yes, that's true.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

If you come into Detroit and even some of the locations we have in the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

metro Detroit area, cuz again where we open Buddy's was always near,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

like Warren is near the tech center.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Yep.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Dearborn is near for Ford headquarters.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Auburn Hills was, near the old Chrysler.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And so every location had a connection to automotive and six mile

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

original store at Ford, chrysler, and GM within, a five mile radius.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And so again, and all the engineering tool and die shops.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You didn't have tier one, tier two suppliers in the forties, in the thirties.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You had little tuin, little shops up and down, all these different areas

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

that would do contract work for them.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And that

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

was

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

a

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

big

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

chunk

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

of

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

our

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

business

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

at

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

time.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

But also, kids love Buddy's,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

and that's

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

other thing.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

They love

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

our pizza.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It's

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

not

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

too

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

spicy

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

for them.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

it taste like

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

great

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

cheese

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

bread.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I've

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

heard

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

kids say,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

this

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

is

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

best

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

grilled cheese

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

ever had.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

No, it's actually a pizza.

Cliff Duvernois:

a

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

But you

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

can call

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

it

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

grilled

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

cheese

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

if you'd like.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Yeah.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

But no

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

tomatoes.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

parents

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

would

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

order

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

a

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

cheese

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

pizza

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

with

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

no

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

tomato

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

sauce.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Chop

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

it

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

up.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

kids

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

had

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

a

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

meal

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

and they

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

loved

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

it.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Slowly

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

to get

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

' em

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

on

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

apostle salad.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

then,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

when

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I was a

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

manager

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

in

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

stores,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

can't

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

tell

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

you

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

how

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

many

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

times

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

kids

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

that

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

would,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

let's

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

say,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

bring

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

breadsticks

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

out

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

to

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

or

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

joke

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

around

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

at

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

table.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

When

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I did

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

my

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

table

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

visits

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

later

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

on, those

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

kids were

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

bringing

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

their kids

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

in.

Cliff Duvernois:

you've

Cliff Duvernois:

been

Cliff Duvernois:

around

Cliff Duvernois:

long

Cliff Duvernois:

enough

Cliff Duvernois:

cuz that

Cliff Duvernois:

could,

Cliff Duvernois:

that's

Cliff Duvernois:

exactly

Cliff Duvernois:

what

Cliff Duvernois:

would

Cliff Duvernois:

happen,

Cliff Duvernois:

Wesley.

Cliff Duvernois:

If

Cliff Duvernois:

somebody's

Cliff Duvernois:

listening

Cliff Duvernois:

to

Cliff Duvernois:

this

Cliff Duvernois:

and they

Cliff Duvernois:

want

Cliff Duvernois:

to

Cliff Duvernois:

check

Cliff Duvernois:

out

Cliff Duvernois:

what it

Cliff Duvernois:

is

Cliff Duvernois:

you're

Cliff Duvernois:

doing, find

Cliff Duvernois:

your

Cliff Duvernois:

locations,

Cliff Duvernois:

chase you

Cliff Duvernois:

down

Cliff Duvernois:

on social media, where's the best place

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

places.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Sure.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

just on our website at Buddyspizza.com.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

There's so much information on our site.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You Google Buddy's, all kind of things pop up and really, whether you're

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

ordering GoldBelly Pizzas or now we're doing the all corner pizzas where you

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

can order basically two smalls together.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So if everyone loves corners, that's something fun.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I mean it pretty much highlights the story.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It has the locations you can order online.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

You can have delivery now through DoorDash.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

They're

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

really,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

and again,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

if

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

you live outside

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

of our

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

market,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

you

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

can't

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

get to

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Buddy's.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Of course,

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

you

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

can

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

order

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

from GoldBelly

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

and pretty soon, Buddy's will be in a lot of

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

stores around

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

the country.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

So you'll be able

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

to get

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

a

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

frozen

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

version

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

of Buddy's

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

where

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

you

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

can just

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

get it

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

and get

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

an

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

idea.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

But if you want original and authentic, just to see where it all began.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Then you come to Six Mile, you go to Detroit.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Detroit is, I don't know if anyone's been to Detroit lately.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I was just there this morning.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

But it's an amazing city right now.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

It is when you drive through there, and I was driving there probably for the last

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

50 years, to be honest, to see what's happened in the last 15 years with dan

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

gilbert, Mike Gillich, peter caros.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

penske, you can go down the list of all these major guys that all

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

added something to this formula.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

And Mike Gillich, and Peter Caros were the first Doner and Dan gilbert

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

came in and just put on steroids.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

These are great people that, that, and when you see the money they invested

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

and you see the other people they brought alongside with them to move

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

this city along and to see how you see people on the street cleaning up.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I've been to Chicago, I've been to New york.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Believe me, our downtown is 20 times cleaner than anything

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

I've seen in manhattan.

Cliff Duvernois:

is.

Cliff Duvernois:

Yeah.

Cliff Duvernois:

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza: Chicago areas are clean.

Cliff Duvernois:

Detroit is 20 times cleaner downtown.

Cliff Duvernois:

You go I drove down Woodward yesterday.

Cliff Duvernois:

I couldn't, I was staring for pieces of paper.

Cliff Duvernois:

I didn't find see one, everybody's walking around with a scooper, with a brush.

Cliff Duvernois:

people are positive, lot of pride, lot of color down there.

Cliff Duvernois:

they've enhanced a lot of the buildings.

Cliff Duvernois:

Now they're doing murals.

Cliff Duvernois:

The lighting is fantastic.

Cliff Duvernois:

The restaurant scene is a lot of small little places,

Cliff Duvernois:

chefs really investing, right?

Cliff Duvernois:

And Detroit always had a great food scene.

Cliff Duvernois:

I don't know if people realize this, but read about Detroit in the twenties.

Cliff Duvernois:

It was called the Paris of the midwest, believe it or

Cliff Duvernois:

not The theaters, everything.

Cliff Duvernois:

Just read about the city and where it was and you, when you visit it.

Cliff Duvernois:

We have a store downtown on in the old Madison Theater.

Cliff Duvernois:

Which was one of the first theaters to show mo, action,

Cliff Duvernois:

motion picture with sound.

Cliff Duvernois:

it

Cliff Duvernois:

converted

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

later.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

We Buddy's is in the bottom of it.

Cliff Duvernois:

Right.

Cliff Duvernois:

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza: That's our downtown location and

Cliff Duvernois:

we have our original location.

Cliff Duvernois:

It's on east side of detroit where it all began.

Cliff Duvernois:

Still very busy there.

Cliff Duvernois:

It's at six mount Kona.

Cliff Duvernois:

and that's what I would suggest.

Cliff Duvernois:

you start with that and it's, when you've been around for

Cliff Duvernois:

77 years, it's worth a look.

Cliff Duvernois:

Yes, definitely.

Cliff Duvernois:

Wesley, thank you so much for taking time to chat with us today.

Cliff Duvernois:

Really appreciate it.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

Thank you very much for having me, Cliff, and we're

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

proud to represent detroit and Michigan

Cliff Duvernois:

represent you.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

you

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

for

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

allowing

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

us this voice.

Wesley Pikula, Buddy's Pizza:

We really appreciate that.

Cliff Duvernois:

Hey, no problem.

Cliff Duvernois:

It's been great.

Cliff Duvernois:

And for our audience, you can always roll on over to total michigan.com.

Cliff Duvernois:

Click on wesley's interview and get all the links that he mentioned above.

Cliff Duvernois:

We'll see you next time with another great story from an ordinary Michigan.

Cliff Duvernois:

They're doing some pretty extraordinary things.

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