BUSINESS

Pizzashop expands from the Jersey shore to Oxford

A worker inside Pizzashop creates a pizza rom scratch.
Mikey Richards creates a Pizzashop pizza from scratch.

Harrison Boyd
Oxford Stories
haboyd1@go.olemiss.edu

There’s a new restaurant in town, and one of the menu items is a sandwich called The Jersey Shore. That’s because Pizzashop got its start in the beachfront town of Belmar, New Jersey and has expanded to Oxford.

“The best way to describe us is we are a family pizza business,” said Urban. “Toni’s father has worked in pizza for over 30 years. I have always been a serial entrepreneur and started many businesses in retail, and even construction.”

After seeing the New Jersey restaurant grow, Urban and Cruthird ventured south to Mississippi to open the business that serves an artisanal, New York-style pizza.

The exterior of Pizzashop in Oxford.

“It is an art form to be able to stretch by hand large pies,” Urban said. “Mikey, who works on the pizza bench and has made pizza for about four months, is fully trained in making our menu items. By the time of our grand opening in November, we should have a dream team. I want people working here to wow the customer and also be proud when making the pie.”

Urban said they cook pizzas in a brick, gas-fired, New York-style oven.

“Everything is made from scratch, from our homemade meatballs to the dough, and we even slice our pepperonis off the pepperoni stick,” he said. ‘We are not using screens to tell us how or how long to cook a pizza. We hand-press and toss our dough, unlike many other pizza chains.”

Offering indoor and outdoor seating, the business is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. It remains open later on weekends, from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Pizza creator Mikey Richards has worked at Pizzashop since May. He gained prior pizza experience working at Pizza Inn on the coast for four years. 

“We strive to have the pizza the exact, ideal way, every time, aiming toward customer satisfaction,” he said. “We create a more genuine-style pizza, ensuring fresh ingredients usage, unlike most competitors where everything is canned. If you’re thinking of trying Pizzashop, be sure to try the fried Oreos and ask about the different flavors.”

Take a look at their menu, and you’ll find many specialty pies, including the El Chupacabra with grilled chicken, hot ricotta, pineapple, jalapenos, garlic, cilantro and chipotle crema. They also sell focaccia sandwiches. Some include the Tupac, Biggie, the Park Avenue and The Jersey Shore. Calzones, rolls, lasagna, pasta, salads and boneless wings are also on the menu. Pizzashop allows customers to bring their own alcohol.

The owners of Pizzashop in front of their pizza logo painting.

“Customers sometimes come up with their recipe for menu items,” Cruthird said. “One customer merged multiple pies, then named the pizza Mississippi Mattness. We also take and honor requests. If a customer wants their pizza well-done or not as crispy, we will do our best to honor the request. All they have to do is ask.”

The pizza business combines commitment and skills. Extended hours are devoted to teaching the craft of pizza making to staff. The art involves tossing the dough and toppings, the application, and business operations.

Urban and Cruthird remain optimistic about the future of Pizzashop. They have discussed opening other restaurants in Austin and Frisco, Texas.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to serve the Oxford community, and we look forward to growing Pizzashop here and across the United States,” Urban said

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