It's A Love Affair!
The PR person for Grimaldi’s, New York Style Pizzeria recently opened in Mt. Pleasant, has been relentless in her attempts to have me sit down and spend some time with Alan Willett, the General Manager of Grimalidi’s.
I spoke with Alan late one Saturday afternoon. Although it had a few patrons, (understandable at this time of the day), it was a far cry from the mob scene that we experienced when we had dinner there. The place is packed and expect to wait, but it’s worth it.
Alan explained to me that prior to Grimaldi’s he worked for On The Border which recently closed and is now the site of Burton’s Grill. Before that he worked for Applebee’s for 12 ½ years. Obviously not a “job jumper”… As he began his job search his goal was to find a place that he could stay for a long time. He has no plans to leave Mt. Pleasant any time soon – lucky us!
When he found out about Grimaldi’s plans to open he began to research the company arbitrarily calling some of their restaurants and asking about the place. He could not find one person that had anything but great things to say about the company. After he made the phone calls he realized that “it was love at first sight”.
He then contacted their HR person and went on to interview with the multi-unit manager for Grimaldi’s, Barry Fisher. The interview went well and he was quickly offered the job.
|Love at first bite.|
Alan explained that their business follows a simple formula. There are two pieces of equipment in the kitchen – a dough maker and a cheesecake mixer. They sell pizzas, calzones and salads. Everything is made from scratch. But it’s how they do it that makes it so special.
First the dough is made with water that is treated via reverse osmosis. This means it creates “high purity” drinking water by removing all of the unwanted contamination. This is what they did at their original Brooklyn location and they are still going strong today! They believe that water is one of the key ingredients in making the dough so special. I have to say that it could be the best pizza in the Charleston area.
Alan will continue to work with his two young managers to improve the operations. He will also continue “cooking and taking care of people”, a few of his many passions. Yes, this is truly a love affair.