Author Topic: Lehmann NY Style Pizza in China  (Read 4534 times)

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Offline Pete-zza

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Lehmann NY Style Pizza in China
« on: August 24, 2007, 01:02:23 PM »
One of our forum members, Thompson Ly, recently emailed me an article on his pizza delco (delivery/takeout) business in China. The article appears at http://paper.sznews.com/szdaily/20070810/ca2742895.htm. (On my computer, the article appears when I click on the Cancel button on the foreign language message box.)

When Thompson was originally making plans for his business and was looking for a NY style dough formulation to use in his business, I suggested that he consider the Lehmann NY dough formulation (and a few others) because I had worked with that NY formulation more than any other and understood it best. I emailed him a copy of an Excel spreadsheet (since replaced by the Lehmann dough calculating tool) so that he could alter the dough formulation to best meet his requirements and to do any necessary tweaking to be workable with the ingredients available to him in China. Through multiple email exchanges and phone calls as he was learning how to make the dough and to diagnose and fix dough problems, he mastered the dough making and management processes and was finally able to procure the necessary equipment (including a state-of-the-art conveyor oven and an Italian dough mixer for his delco) to start making and selling pizza. In addition to running his own operation, Thompson has consulted with others wishing to establish pizza businesses in China, including a well known U.S. pizza chain.

Peter



Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Lehmann NY Style Pizza in China
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2007, 01:21:02 PM »
I have copied and pasted the text of the newspaper article.

From Shenzhen Daily: NYPD Pizza: Keeping up with the Papa Johnís Pizza

Ranajit Dam

PIZZA lovers rejoice: After Papa John's stormed into Shenzhen in November 2005, raising the bar in a city that could barely see beyond Pizza Hut, and exposing the smaller operators for the the pretenders that they really are, another quality pizza maker has sprouted in city to intensify the competition even further.

The restaurant in question is NYPD Pizza, the letters standing for New York Pizza Delivery, according to owner Thompson Lee. The letters also stand for the far more famous New York City Police Department, and Lee says he chose the name for the instant recognition it provides: "Foreigners here know about the NYPD, and Chinese people watch the TV show 'NYPD Blue,' so they recognize the name as well."

And it's not just the name: NYPD Pizza has gone to some lengths to draw the connections to possibly the most famous municipal police force in the world, with the delivery boys dressed in policemen's blue, and the restaurant logo similar to the officers' badge. No handcuffs just yet, but Lee believes reasons NYPD's pizzas are poised to, er, "arrest" Shenzhen's palate.

One of the reasons why is the sheer size of the pizzas. In a country where big, bigger and biggest are celebrated -- the world's biggest shopping mall is in neighboring Dongguan, for example, at a mindboggling 892,000 square meters -- any restaurant that claims to provide the "biggest pizzas in China" is certainly worth a visit, or at least a telephone order. At NYPD, the largest pizzas measure 16 inches (108 yuan, US$14.25) in diameter, two more inches than the best Papa John's can do.

The San Francisco-born Lee, who has several years of experience running Papa John's outlets in Florida, has learnt much from his time there. In the U.S., Papa John's is known for its delivery and carry-out operations, with few seats, if any, at its outlets. NYPD Pizza's first and only outlet, located deep inside south Futian, is behind a nondescript building on Fuqiang Road and next to two car repair shops. The dining area is very spartan, and the pizza, if you choose to eat it there, is served on cardboard. Not the ideal place for a romantic evening out, but then, as Lee is quick to point out, eat-in is not NYPD Pizza's focus either.
The other reason why NYPD Pizza is located where it is, is the relative lack of competition in the area. The nearest pizza parlor is a Pizza Hut up north on Fumin Road, and given that the area is full of Hong Kong residents and foreign teachers, the location of NYPD Pizza makes pretty good business sense.

A taste comparison would put Papa John's ahead, but not by a great deal; in any case both are significantly better than what Pizza Hut provides. NYPD Pizza prides itself on its pizza sauce, which is made from fresh tomatoes shipped from Modesto California, and is certainly worth dipping into with the crust, as is its barbecue sauce. The pizza crust is crisp and fluffy, and stays that way, right till the end. The toppings, comprising thick cheese with generous amounts of meat, include the staples: Hawaiian and Margharita, and also interesting ones like Curry Chicken. Non-pizza items include pasta (22 yuan) and rice dishes (22 yuan).
For those not especially conversant in Chinese, Lee answers the phone personally in English, a tactic he says is great at building bonds between the pizza place and pizza lovers around Shenzhen. If he is to be believed, pizza aficionados from as far as Shekou are flocking to NYPD. With competition getting stiffer, Shenzhen's pizza scene can only go onward and upward, which is great news for all of us.


Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Lehmann NY Style Pizza in China
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2008, 12:15:40 PM »
I received an email from member Thompson Ly this morning (9/22/08). Apparently his pizza business in South China is going well. In fact, next month, he is scheduled to open his third delco operation (with a few tables for sitdown). He is still using the Lehmann NY style dough formulation.

Thompson is also scheduled to attend an award ceremony tomorrow night to receive an award for best pizza delivery, beating out Pizza Hut and Papa John's in this category.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Lehmann NY Style Pizza in China
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2008, 07:09:10 AM »
More on Thompson Ly and his pizza business in South China: http://szdaily.sznews.com/html/2008-11/25/content_428076.htm.

Peter
« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 01:13:10 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Lehmann NY Style Pizza in China
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2011, 02:47:47 PM »
Member Thompson Ly emailed me recently to tell me that he and his delco, NYPD, won this year's Hong Kong pizza competition. I saw a write-up today at http://www.shenzhen-standard.com/2011/09/23/nypd-pizza-won-first-place-in-hong-kong-perfect-pizza-challenge/. A close-up look at Thompson's pizza can be seen by clicking on the photo of his pizza.

Peter

Offline chickenparm

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Re: Lehmann NY Style Pizza in China
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2011, 09:33:54 PM »
That is  8)

Also,The pizza did not look much like a conveyor oven pie either,if that is what they are using.It looked more like it was baked in a deck oven.

:)


-Bill

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Lehmann NY Style Pizza in China
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2011, 09:49:27 PM »
Also,The pizza did not look much like a conveyor oven pie either,if that is what they are using.It looked more like it was baked in a deck oven.


Bill,

Unless Thompson changed things, he was using the special dark anodized disks (maybe the cloud disks) from PizzaTools.com/Lloyd's (http://www.pizzatools.com/Hearth_Bake_Disks/30886/subgrouping.htm), plus he has a so-called "fast bake" conveyor oven with a finger profile that the disks work best with. To New Yorkers, using a conveyor oven to make NY style pizzas is heresy but Thompson now has three delcos. Many of his customers are ex-pats who miss the NY style and welcome the pizzas he is making. Since Thompson was born and raised in the U.S., he knows the types of toppings that Americans like.

Peter

Offline chickenparm

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Re: Lehmann NY Style Pizza in China
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2011, 11:26:28 PM »
Thanks for the info Peter.
 :)
I am glad his ovens are producing the results he/and the customers enjoy.The pie looked so deck like and I meant that in a positive way.
 8)





-Bill

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Lehmann NY Style Pizza in China
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2012, 12:40:34 PM »
I received a nice email from member Thompson Ly yesterday to let me know that he recently opened his fourth delco in China. He now has three stores in Shenzhen (the latest is in Shenzhen) and one in Hong Kong. See http://www.shenzhen-standard.com/2012/02/24/nypd-pizza-opening-in-luohu/.

Peter

Offline chickenparm

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Re: Lehmann NY Style Pizza in China
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2012, 03:27:28 AM »
 8)

Hope they can keep opening new places and be successful.
 :pizza:
-Bill


Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: Lehmann NY Style Pizza in China
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2012, 03:07:09 AM »
I ate pizza in hong kong when I was there a couple years ago. I remember it was a small little shack by the subway station. The toppings were things like squid and scallops and we just wanted something American after eating some of the grossest chinese food we had ever eaten. Pepperoni was nowhere to be found on the menu but there was a picture of a pepperoni pizza on the wall, so we just kept pointing to that, apparently they had pepperoni but it just wasn't listed on the menu so we were happy. The pizza wasn't that good, but it sure was delicious. Anyways.... with my strange pizza experience I find it very funny that in the linked article the only information included is directions, and what pizza actually is. I hope he has tons of success and keeps opening places.

On another side note, I remember the pizza huts there were very fancy and full sit down restaurants. More like a california pizza kitchen.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Lehmann NY Style Pizza in China
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2014, 04:14:15 PM »
It has been a while since I last checked in on Thompson Ly, so I sent him an email, to which he promptly responded. From what Thompson says, life has been good to him. He still has the four delcos as previously reported, but now he is devoting a fair amount of time to his new wife and one-year old son Ryan (see photo below). And, for the time being, he is doing more consulting work to allow him the luxury of more time with his family. However, in due course he plans to expand his mini-chain of delcos. Using the emoticon for laughter, Thompson said that he is known in China as the Godfather of Pizza. Since he was early in China with pizza, and has done a fair amount of consulting, there is perhaps a lot of truth to that statement.

I asked Thompson if he is still using the old Lehmann NY style dough recipe that he started with in his first delco. He said yes, and reminded me of the old adage "If it's not broken, why fix it?"

Peter