A Throggs Neck supermarket is taking the term ‘one-stop-shop’ to a new level.
Foodtown at 2945 Bruckner Boulevard has opened a pizza parlor within its aisled store. Called Pizza Gusta, it’s owned and operated by the supermarket’s 14-year veteran baker Nick Enea.
“This is the first of its kind in the Bronx,” said Enea. “No other supermarket in the borough has a pizza parlor within a supermarket, so I see a real opportunity here,” the Throggs Neck resident added.
While Pizza Gusta has only been operating for a month, the business has been booming. “We’ve got a loyal following here so far, everyone is willing to try a slice once, but getting a customer to return, that’s the tricky part,” Enea said. “You can tell on the first bite who’s going to be coming back, and we’ve had plenty of them,” the chef added.
The idea to open a pizza parlor within the store came from Enea’s surroundings, especially the industrial oven he uses to bake bread with. “The oven here has a lot of firepower, one day it occurred to me that we could easily start using it to make pizza,” Enea said.
Another advantage his pizzeria has to the competition is the amount of unlimited supplies at his fingertips.
“Anything I need is just a few aisles away, all of my pizzas are made with ingredients from the store,” said Enea. He went on to explain that because of his quick and easy access to supplies, all of his pizzas are made to order.
“I’ve made pizzas with anchovies and squash blossoms on them for customers, the average pizza place can’t whip up special orders in a few minutes,” Enea mentioned. “I’ve made dessert pizzas too, replacing sauce with Nutella, and topping it with strawberries and other fruits,” he added.
Typical ‘regular’ pies and calzones are also big sellers for Pizza Gusta as well.
One of the biggest perks of setting up shop in the supermarket is that customers will place orders to go, then do their food shopping, come back and pick up their pizza in one full swoop. Not to mention, Pizza Gusta delivers for free.
“I just don’t see how you can beat this,” Enea said.
Since Pizza Gusta’s still in an inaugural phase, the business hasn’t done much in ways of adverting just yet, rather going by social media to get the word out.
One Facebook review said: “Great Pizza, calzones and pinwheels! Love that I can go shopping and pick up my favorite pepperoni pinwheels or a slice of pizza in the same place!!”
Enea knows from his time working with food that advertising can only get you so far. “With food you can only advertise so much. The real way to win customers is by word-of-mouth, and you get that with a great slice and first bite,” Enea said. “We’re going to do well here.”