Author Topic: Commercial dough recipes to get a New Jersey pizzeria started  (Read 10133 times)

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Offline scott123

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Re: Commercial dough recipes to get a New Jersey pizzeria started
« Reply #40 on: September 06, 2013, 08:43:01 AM »
An inexpensive, plain, slightly oily dough with delicious cheese and toppings will outsell expensive, delicious dough with cheap, plain toppings every day.



Dough is just a base for American-style pizza.

Dough is the pizza for Neapolitan and some other styles.

Any normally intelligent person can learn to make basic New York dough. It isn't rocket science. A great combination of topping flavors, the cooking process and oven handling take a little more thought and practice.

Knowing your way around a kitchen makes a product. Knowing how to market, manage and hire makes a business.

I'm sure this is excellent advice for an aspiring pizzeria owner in Japan, but, for a NY style pizzeria in the NY area... the dough is massively important.  And dough that will differentiate you from the countless other slice joints on every corner- that absolutely is rocket science. There's no facet that you can dial in- everything has to be perfect. Perfect toppings and perfect dough.

There's not a single well known NY area pizzeria that has achieved their success via marketing.  They've all clawed their way to the top by putting out pizza that's better than anyone else.  That's one of the most phenomenal aspects about NY pizza. Everyone, no matter who you are, has a chance. Merit matters.  The market is brutally competitive, but if you can put out a product that blows people away, you will rise to the top- and it doesn't take a huge investment or tremendous business savvy- just incredibly hard work and the acquisition of a considerable amount of knowledge- knowledge found within these walls.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 08:48:49 AM by scott123 »


Offline waltertore

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Re: Commercial dough recipes to get a New Jersey pizzeria started
« Reply #41 on: September 06, 2013, 12:12:17 PM »
I agree with Scott.  Having grown up in the NYC area he is right on.   For me and many the crust is the key and the toppings compliment it and do not overpower.   A simply made  NYC pie is something that takes years to  master IMO.  Topping are becoming more and more the in thing but to me take away from the perfect meeting of crust sauce and cheese. I always savor the unsauced/non topped part of the crust.  Now if you were opening up a shop out here in Central Ohio the greasy heavy toppings and a sub par, often frozen shipped in crust, run through converyor ovens is a big hit.   

One thing that is a big transition from great home pies to a full blown operation is the dough management thing.  I find that to be the most challenging on a day to day basis. because the temperature/humidity levels, tap water temps, ebb and flows of demand, are always changing.  I think with Chuck's extensive culinary backround the sauce, cheese, topping, ordering, issues would be minor.  Walter
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 06:07:31 PM by waltertore »

Offline Chaze215

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Re: Commercial dough recipes to get a New Jersey pizzeria started
« Reply #42 on: September 06, 2013, 06:04:14 PM »
I recently went to a place that just opened here in NJ. The sauce and cheese were very good, however the dough was TERRIBLE. The only analogy I can make is taking Boars Head cold cuts and putting them on crappy bread to make a sandwich. Not my cup of tea.
Chaz

Offline La Sera

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Re: Commercial dough recipes to get a New Jersey pizzeria started
« Reply #43 on: September 06, 2013, 10:30:33 PM »
1. Plain doesn't mean bad or sub par. Plain means it isn't elaborate. It doesn't have a sophisticated, delicate texture or require skillful handling to form.

2. The NY/NJ market is saturated with places run by families for generations, with customers spanning generations, but the owner of a new pizza business in that environment doesn't need much marketing savvy? That's a rhetorical question.

Offline scott123

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Re: Commercial dough recipes to get a New Jersey pizzeria started
« Reply #44 on: September 06, 2013, 11:23:39 PM »
2. The NY/NJ market is saturated with places run by families for generations, with customers spanning generations, but the owner of a new pizza business in that environment doesn't need much marketing savvy?

This is my point.  The well known places all have such devoted followings that any kind of marketing is useless. You won't draw people away from their favorite pizzerias with an advertisement or a mailer.  Everyone has substantial marketing budgets.  Whatever you invest in marketing only gets drowned out by a sea of thousands of voices.  No matter how targeted you are or creative in your approach, to customers with this kind of brand loyalty, it's just noise. The only way to pluck customers out of the hands of your competitors is by word of mouth. If you can give people a product that's so fantastic that they can't shut up about it, then your worries are over.

Offline La Sera

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Re: Commercial dough recipes to get a New Jersey pizzeria started
« Reply #45 on: September 07, 2013, 09:23:26 AM »
All the overarching consulting buzzwords aside, he'd just making something different.

He wouldn't be making the best because there is no best. Everyone has a different opinion about what's the best or even good. Pizza is like cars. Everyone has different tastes.

Offline pt

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Re: Commercial dough recipes to get a New Jersey pizzeria started
« Reply #46 on: September 07, 2013, 11:07:45 AM »
La Sera's Pizza Business Rule #6:

An inexpensive, plain, slightly oily dough with delicious cheese and toppings will outsell expensive, delicious dough with cheap, plain toppings every day.



Dough is just a base for American-style pizza.

Dough is the pizza for Neapolitan and some other styles.

For me, if the dough is not good I will never go back for the delicious cheese and toppings.  And that is for all styles of pizza.

Offline Chaze215

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Re: Commercial dough recipes to get a New Jersey pizzeria started
« Reply #47 on: September 07, 2013, 01:14:08 PM »
For me, if the dough is not good I will never go back for the delicious cheese and toppings.  And that is for all styles of pizza.

 ^^^
Chaz

Offline waltertore

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Re: Commercial dough recipes to get a New Jersey pizzeria started
« Reply #48 on: September 07, 2013, 02:28:17 PM »


He wouldn't be making the best because there is no best. Everyone has a different opinion about what's the best or even good. Pizza is like cars. Everyone has different tastes.


I agree with this not only with pizza, but with life.  We all should do what inspires us instead of putting our energy into gaining the cheer of the crowd, but worldly temptations usually win out.  Food, music, art, is all totally subjective because if one person says it is the best or worst it is as totally legitimate as anyone Else's opinion.  I learned this playing music full time for 20 odd years around the world.  A great example is one night I felt I played so bad I should have refunded the ticket price and then I would get rave reviews from the crowds and media.  Then I would play what I felt the best I had to date to nothing, and then again some nights the crowd and I agreed.  There is no science to this stuff but there is media.  That will sway most people to like or not like something big time.  Most people have to be told what is good and what is bad.  Stuff gets famous or destroyed overnight with the right media people involved. 

I make my pizzas the way I like them.  If others like them fine.  If not that is fine too because bottom line- I make them to eat myself and I am not going to make anything I don't like.  I have had natives here tell me that Pizza Cottage is the best pie they ever ate. I ask them what they think of my pies and they say they are good but I should really try pizza cottage.  Pizza cottage pies are worse than frozen red baron pizzas IMO.  Conversely I had a 3rd generation NYC pizzeria/Italian restaurant owner and a Connecticut native that grew up on Pepe's tell me my pies are as good as any they had.  They are repeat customers so they weren't jiving and the NYC guy and his wife often volunteer in my bakery when we have a huge order to fill.  Go figure....... IMO if more people followed their heart instead of their mind we would have such great food, music, and art, that the world would look completely different than it does today.  I learned a lot about this from working with Autistic students.  Many will do what turns them on at any cost.  Fame, cheers, wealth, means nothing to them.  They do what they do because they are driven to and to not do it, death would be more pleasant.  Here is a link to one of my former Autistic Students that wrote some incredibly simple poetry.  Then she would sing it to my spontaneous music I would make up as she sang in my studio.  We did several shows at disabled artists shows and were highly received.  But most "normal" people can not relate to the music Gwen and I  made. It unnerves them because it doesn't fit the slot they have established in their brain.   My best musician friends, many of them Grammy winners, love it.  We had a project going with Patti Sterling, who mentored under Sara Vaughn,  to do a duets album but Gwen graduated and her disabled mother fled to parts unknown with her.  Also Evan Johns, a Grammy nominated musician was working on an album of her songs/poems, but has fallen on bad health.  Listen to a song. She sings for less than a minute and is done.  There was no way I could get her to do a 3 minute song.  I learned a lot from that little girl about doing what is in me and not what I think I should be doing :)
Walter
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« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 10:27:39 AM by waltertore »

Offline scott123

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Re: Commercial dough recipes to get a New Jersey pizzeria started
« Reply #49 on: September 07, 2013, 06:06:10 PM »
He wouldn't be making the best because there is no best. Everyone has a different opinion about what's the best or even good. Pizza is like cars. Everyone has different tastes.

Pizza is like cars, huh?  You really think there's a lot of people out there that don't like Ferraris?  With enough forethought, care and attention to detail, one can make the pizza equivalent of a Ferrari- and it doesn't have to cost a couple hundred thousand dollars.

We all like to think of ourselves as being different, as being unique, and, to a small extent, we are, but, at the end of the day, people's tastes are not that different.  Write a great song and most people will enjoy it. Make a great movie and most people will see it's inherent greatness.  Beautiful women are generally perceived as beautiful by most men.  Are there outliers?  Of course.  Are these outliers statistically significant, though? No.  According to the small sampling of people that I've come across, I'd guess that 1 in 300 people don't like chocolate. Does that have any impact on the level of adulation the rest of us have for chocolate? Of course not. Great pizza has that same level of appeal.

NY style pizza is not a niche product. It's a product with mass appeal.  You're not targeting outlier tastes. When you sell a NY slice, you're tapping into a universal aesthetic- you're writing the song, that, if great, most people will love. You're manufacturing the car, that, if done right, almost every person would just about kill to drive.

When I make pizza for others, be they family, friends or strangers, I strive for 8 out of 10 people telling me that it's the best pizza they've ever had. If I don't achieve that, I've failed. This is the commitment to excellence that I try to instill in my clients as well. There are highly quantifiable, objective qualities to a pizza (such as oven spring, crumb texture, cheese coloration, charring, microblistering, fermentation flavor byproducts, etc.) that, when achieved, produce an inherently superior product- a product that will produce religious experiences for those that consume it.

Pizza is not a widget who's success rises or falls on the way it's marketed.  It is a drug, a potential pathway to bliss that you addict people to.  Truly great pizza is more addictive than crack, and, just like crack, you don't need marketing to sell it.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 01:17:58 AM by scott123 »


Offline lennyk

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Re: Commercial dough recipes to get a New Jersey pizzeria started
« Reply #50 on: September 07, 2013, 10:35:30 PM »
Excellent words there.
Pizza is certainly one of those things many people will say
"I had a great pizza at so and so place" just like steak lovers will say about their favorite steakhouse.

Offline La Sera

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Re: Commercial dough recipes to get a New Jersey pizzeria started
« Reply #51 on: September 08, 2013, 12:16:04 AM »
Ah, you are a pizza consultant! Hahaha! I knew there had to be an angle here.

A religious experience? Oh, for heaven's sake.

Talk about irony. You wrote nothing but marketing boilerplate phrase after phrase in your screed against marketing. I'm sure some people fall for that nonsense, but it doesn't work with me. How old do you think I am, 12?

Why is it that every pizza consultant I've know is a failed owner/manager or driver?

fini

Offline scott123

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Re: Commercial dough recipes to get a New Jersey pizzeria started
« Reply #52 on: September 08, 2013, 12:58:49 AM »
Tom Lehmann is a pizza consultant.  Are you really going to insinuate that the reason he became a consultant is that he couldn't hack it as an owner?

You made a lot of money selling McPizza to the Japanese. Big wup.  You think that gives you the right to preach the unimportance of dough?

Say what you want about me, but you're crossing a line by taking pot shots at the immensely knowledgeable pizza consultants on this forum- of which NONE are a failed owner/manager/driver.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 04:09:05 AM by scott123 »

Offline La Sera

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Re: Commercial dough recipes to get a New Jersey pizzeria started
« Reply #53 on: September 08, 2013, 04:14:01 AM »
You should read more carefully.

I don't know Tom Lehmann. I don't know you. You're just someone on the internet.

I never said dough was unimportant.

McPizza? I use flour that costs $110 per 25 kg bag, cheese imported from Italy, Italian tomatoes and only the freshest ingredients.

I'm not going to respond any more.

Offline scott123

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Re: Commercial dough recipes to get a New Jersey pizzeria started
« Reply #54 on: September 08, 2013, 06:17:28 AM »
I never said dough was unimportant.

An inexpensive, plain, slightly oily dough with delicious cheese and toppings will outsell expensive, delicious dough with cheap, plain toppings every day.



Dough is just a base for American-style pizza.

Dough is the pizza for Neapolitan and some other styles.

Any normally intelligent person can learn to make basic New York dough. It isn't rocket science. A great combination of topping flavors, the cooking process and oven handling take a little more thought and practice.

Knowing your way around a kitchen makes a product. Knowing how to market, manage and hire makes a business.

Maybe I'm not reading this carefully enough, but it seems to me that you're saying that dough deserves less focus than toppings, baking and oven handling, which, in turn, deserve less attention than marketing, management and hiring. You didn't come out and say "dough is unimportant," but you seem to be going to great lengths to downplay it's relative importance compared to other factors in the pizzeria equation.  To me, by saying that all these things are more important than dough, you're implying that dough is unimportant.

McPizza isn't about money. Anyone can spend huge sums on flour and toppings.  Very few people can master dough making.  I know I haven't.  But I do understand how vastly complex it is and strive to eventually fully understand it. Dough is the single element that separates fast food pizza from art.  Once you fall into the trap of thinking dough is simple, that dough is relatively easy, you're no longer creating art, you're selling a commodity- McPizza.

FWIW,  you may make phenomenal pizza.  It's rare, but some people are able to master dough with very little thought.  You could be part of this group.  Your overwhelming success seems to point to being able to do something right. When you questioned my motives and insulted my friends/profession, I reached for the first thing I could come up with- a low blow in return for another.  I do feel, though, that by downplaying the significance of dough, that, even if you're not making McPizza, you might be preaching the merits of a McPizza frame of mind.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 07:32:55 AM by scott123 »

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Commercial dough recipes to get a New Jersey pizzeria started
« Reply #55 on: September 08, 2013, 09:40:48 AM »

Why is it that every pizza consultant I've know is a failed owner/manager or driver?


From the tone of your posts over the last few years I would classify you as a failed owner.  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
-Jeff

Offline waltertore

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Re: Commercial dough recipes to get a New Jersey pizzeria started
« Reply #56 on: September 08, 2013, 10:44:41 AM »
Most everyone on this forum is a pizza fanatic.  This really represents a very small % of our country's pizza eaters.  Most of the USA eats fast food pizza and love not only it, but the price.  To get well known depends where your shop is located in regards to using only word of mouth to make it happen.  If you live in a food center where people actively seek out food they enjoy and price isn't the bottom line, word of mouth works great.  It will work so great that advertising would be like throwing money down the drain.  I grew up in such a place and since have lived/traveled the USA extensively and have been shocked at how bad, IMO, most restaraunt food is. If you live in an area that is mostly impoverished, and bottom line is price over quality, then advertising can make you millions.  I live in such an area and the papers and mailbox is full of coupons for 2 for 1's and such.  These places are packed.  The small mom and pop pizzerias here turn out such a, IMO, bad product that if that stuff was all there was for pizza left on this earth, I would never eat pizza again.   The village I live in is mostly 6 figure plus incomes and is 6 miles from my workplace.  It is also 35 miles from Columbus and is an island of education and affluence.  There are only 3,000 residents, and 2,000 Denison Univ students here.  That is not enough to sustain a vibrant food scene.  Places come and go so quick in our village it is shocking.  All turn out medicore at best food.  The long term survivors are 2 pizzerias that put out a product that makes dominos and little ceasar look pretty good.   Anyway, I say follow your dreams and it will always work out.  My place is thriving beyond our capicity.  I need more freezer space to store our bagels and cookies but our room is too small for another freezer. I  am going to  have to ask the cafeteria manager on our campus if we can use some of their walk in freezer space.  I found a nitch with teaching special education and selling to schools/universities/county run programs.  If I was to open a pizzeria on my terms here, with quality of ingredients I currently use the price would put me out of business before I started.  Very few would pay 12-15 dollars for an 18"  cheese pie.  Even though they are affluent, they have been raised here with the low cost, and IMO, bad food.  But that is their palate and who am I to say it isn't legit?  Walter
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 10:49:21 AM by waltertore »

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Commercial dough recipes to get a New Jersey pizzeria started
« Reply #57 on: September 08, 2013, 12:26:13 PM »
Walter,

As you know, I have been helping Norma with her efforts to produce a clone of the De Lorenzo/Robbinsville tomato pies. As part of the background research, we inevitably ended up studying the De Lorenzo/Hudson Street operation. That operation was an eye opener. It was open only four days a week, Thursdays through Sundays, from 4-9 PM. It did no advertising. It had no printed menu, no delivery and I believe that it only sold pizzas. Their "silverware" was cheap plastic counterparts. It did not accept credit or debit cards. The shop was small (55 seats) and could not handle large crowds, which meant that there were usually long lines of patrons outside of the shop waiting their turn to go inside. There was no parking. They didn't even have a restroom (they were grandfathered in). The tomato pies were made by Gary Amico and his son Sam, until Sam left to start the Robbinsville location, and Gary's wife Eileen worked the cash register (an antique register with push buttons). Orders were recorded using pencil and paper. One of the nice features, however, was their BYOB policy.

Yet, they made exceptional pizza, with high quality ingredients. And they were in business from 1947 until they closed in January, 2012. The reason given for the closure was the advancing ages of Gary and Eileen but the truer reason was that the area had become beset with crime, and their patrons started having reservations about going to the pizzeria as a result.

Peter
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 03:01:50 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline waltertore

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Re: Commercial dough recipes to get a New Jersey pizzeria started
« Reply #58 on: September 08, 2013, 12:48:20 PM »
Walter,

As you know, I have been helping Norma with her efforts to produce a clone of the De Lorenzo/Robbinsville tomato pies. As part of the background research, we inevitably ended up studying the De Lorenzo/Hudson Street operation. That operation was an eye opener. It was open only four days a week, Thursdays through Sundays, from 4-9 PM. It did no advertising. It had no menu, and I believe that it only sold pizzas. Their "silverware" was cheap plastic counterparts. It did not accept credit or debit cards. The shop was small and could not handle large crowds, which meant that there were usually long lines of patrons outside of the shop waiting their turn to go inside. There was no parking. They didn't even have a restroom (they were grandfathered in). The tomato pies were made by Gary Amico and his son Sam, until Sam left to start the Robbinsville location, and Gary's wife Eileen worked the cash register (an antique register with push buttons). Orders were recorded using pencil and paper. One of the nice features, however, was their BYOB policy.

Yet, they made exceptional pizza, with high quality ingredients. And they were in business from 1947 until they closed in January, 2012. The reason given for the closure was the advancing ages of Gary and Eileen but the truer reason was that the area had become beset with crime, and their patrons started having reservations about going to the pizzeria as a result.

Peter

Peter: That is a great example of the being in the right place at the right time with the right product and like everything has a lifecycle.   Star Tavern in Orange NJ is much like the Delorenzo scenario.  It has been in the same location for over 50 years but the neighborhood has gone to ghetto and for some reason the place continues to draw big time.  I think it thrives because it is surrounded by affluent towns that are a mile to a few miles away, prices are affordable to the lower income people in the neighborhood, has a bar, an attached parking lot, and on Wed nights in the winter they offer cheese pies for like $5 on eat in.   Take away the parking lot and they might not survive long. 

I helped my friend start a bagel business here recently.  He got way into it and found a location out in the country that let him live rent free.  It was a horse barn (high end one) with a couple apts on top.  He fed the horses and got free rent.  They let him buy a deck oven and install it in the barn and was on the verge of getting a home/cottage baking license and then was going to start looking at commercial spaces in a year or so.  He was well on track with getting customers/farmers markets set up and was making a really good boiled NYC style bagel.  Then the smoke alarms starting going off in the barn from the oven heat and the owners made him stop. Now he is out of business before really getting going. He is not returning my calls and I feel he is in a deep sadness over it all.   It is all about timing most time.   I know I got lucky with my set up but in defense I have been working at this goal for almost 20 years with more failures, battles that have resulted in exhaustion with trying to keep a similar(smaller scale than I have now) thing going including suing the school district I was in, and moving to 3 different states, to see it finally come to pass.  Yeah for OHIO!  How long will it last?  I have no idea but am enjoying the each moment.   This is why I say follow your dreams because they will always come to pass if you truly follow them blindly.   I hope someday to open a place like Delorenzo's if and when my thing gets dismantled.  My wife will run the register, take orders, do the books, and I will hire 1-2 of my former students.  That with my old blodgett ovens and I will be die a happy man.  The only thing I would like to see added is a bathroom :)  Walter
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 01:04:46 PM by waltertore »

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Commercial dough recipes to get a New Jersey pizzeria started
« Reply #59 on: September 08, 2013, 01:04:01 PM »
There was no luck involved in your situation Walter, just an incredible man and who saw the upside in a bunch of incredible kids that others fail to see.  What you do is so awesome.


Peter: That is a great example of the being in the right place at the right time with the right product and like everything has a lifecycle.   Star Tavern in Orange NJ is much like the Delorenzo scenario.  It has been in the same location for over 50 years but the neighborhood has gone to ghetto and for some reason the place continues to draw big time.  I think because it is surrounded by affluent towns that are a mile to a few miles away.   I helped my friend start a bagel business here recently.  He got way into it and found a location out in the country that let him live rent free.  It was a horse barn (high end one) with a couple apts on top.  He fed the horses and got free rent.  They let him buy a deck oven and install it in the barn and was on the verge of getting a home/cottage baking license and then was going to start looking at commercial spaces in a year or so.  He was well on track with getting customers/farmers markets set up and was making a really good boiled NYC style bagel.  Then the smoke alarms starting going off in the barn from the oven heat and the owners made him stop. Now he is out of business before really getting going. He is not returning my calls and I feel he is in a deep sadness over it all.   It is all about timing most time.   I know I got lucky with my set up but in defense I have been working at this goal for almost 20 years with more failures, battles that have resulted in exhaustion with trying to keep a similar(smaller scale than I have now) thing going including suing the school district I was in, and moving to 3 different states, to see it finally come to pass.  Yeah for OHIO!  How long will it last?  I have no idea but am enjoying the each moment.   This is why I say follow your dreams because they will always come to pass if you truly follow them blindly.   I hope someday to open a place like Delorenzo's if and when my thing gets dismantled.  My wife will run the register, take orders, do the books, and I will hire 1-2 of my former students.  That with my old blodgett ovens and I will be die a happy man.  The only thing I would like to see added is a bathroom :)  Walter
-Jeff