"Because it's not Italian!" says Silvio Medoro, the owner of the North University pizzeria. He does have the ingredient in the store for those who love pepperoni.
Medoro has been doing pizza his way long before he set up shop four years ago in Ann Arbor. What sets him apart from every other campus pizza joint is his commitment to local and organic ingredients, which is apparent from the Peta sticker he was sporting on his shirt recently while talking with Examiner.com at his shop. He is dedicated to buying his ingredients from local businesses. Many of the veggies on the pizza taste garden fresh. That's because they are--straight from his garden at his Pittsfield home.
His philosophy and approach to food have paid off. It can't be easy opening up a pizza place in a campus town home to longtime local faves but in a few short years he has built a reputation for good, wholesome pizzas. The community has embraced him.
And the family-owned business is planning to expand next door. Currently they are in the feasibility stage (technically and financially) and hope to have the opening day before the end of the year.
For now, they are celebrating their current success. Silvio's will be throwing a party Sunday, Oct. 25 to mark their 4-year anniversary. There will be food and live music. And if that wasn't enough cause for celebration, how about a free trip to Italy? He also has a promotion: For every $30 you spend, you get entered into a drawing for two free plane tickets to Italy. This is the second year he has done the contest.
All of this came as a result after eating pizza twice in the States. After that fateful bite he decided, "If I'm going to eat pizza, I'm going to make it myself." Ditto for the bread, not surprising for someone who perfected the art of baking while working for the family bakery in Italy.
He got the idea for an organic pizzeria a few years ago and figured Ann Arbor with its diversity was a good place to open. Soon after opening he started getting big orders from Whole Foods and Zingerman's.
The most popular pies include the margherita, truffle, napolitano and capricciosa. Everything, from the pastas to the pizzas to the desserts are 100 percent made in house.
Silvio's brought two of their more fanciful creations to the recent HomeGrown Festival at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market: the Beyond Organic (a whole wheat crust with chicory, cherry tomatoes, shiitake mushrooms from Ann Arbor's Nature and Nurture, goat cheese from Zingerman's) and Made in Michigan (pictured above), which elevates the concept of fruit and cheese. The unorthodox pie has blueberry and feta and blue cheeses on a white crust. It's a savory and sweet concoction that is heavenly straight out of the oven. Sounds absurd but it totally works. (Great as leftovers too.)
How does he come up with these toppings?
"Fantasy," he says. "The beauty of my business is interaction, I want a big family with my customers," he says. "My job is not to make pizza it's to make customers happy."