Derek Copp & Nick Nortier paint an interior wall of Good Pizza Co.
There are a few details to work out before owners of the new pizzeria, Good Pizza Company, can set an exact date for any kind of official grand opening, but with health inspections slated for the end of this week and a menu in the home stretches of finalization, Good Pizza Co. chef Derek Copp says they’ll most likely kick things off with a soft opening in March.
Located at 10 Jefferson Ave. SE, the 1,000-square-foot storefront was formerly home to the collectively-owned Cult Pizza, which made setting up shop an easy decision for Copp and his business partner, Alexander Atkin, owner of the upcoming Good Pizza Co.
“It's pretty much a turnkey operation, we got a pizza oven and everything all set to go,” says Copp, who was approached by Atkin last year with the idea for the pizzeria following a major life event that inspired him to switch gears.
“(Alex) was in a motorcycle accident last year that injured his spine, so he’s in a wheelchair now indefinitely,” Copp says. “He does brewing consultations, but instead of just doing that and going stir crazy at home and trying to figure out what to do with his home life, he’s like, ‘Well, I need to get out and do something like run a business,' so he decided to go in this direction.”
Since signing the lease with Atkin at the beginning of the new year, Copp says he’s tried out some 60-odd recipes while setting the final menu, which will include classic pizzeria items like hand-tossed pizza, bread sticks, and cheese sticks in addition to the more unique thin crust and Detroit-style deep dish options.
Sourdough crust for the regular recipe as well as a gluten free option will be made in house, while Copp says he plans on using locally sourced ingredients in their pizzas — including weekly rotating signature flavors — and hopes to work directly with farmers and other local distributors as much as possible.
“We're using local companies for cheese and meats and try and source direct from farmers as much as we can,” he says. “We want to utilize things like local hot sauces and hope to collaborate with other restaurants, too, for special items.”
Good Pizza Co. also recently secured a license to operate as a BYOB wine and cider establishment, with plans to offer anywhere between five to seven by-the-slice options to help bring in more of the lunch crowd and those looking for a quick bite before hitting the nearby bar scene.
“This is a pretty good location because it's so close to downtown…We want to be a hub for pre-bar hopping and that kind of thing.”
Though the two also have plans to eventually expand into offering a delivery service, Good Pizza Co.’s brick-and-mortar aesthetic promises something unique and sort of playful for dine-in customers, with ideas floating around for everything from allocated wall space for photos of celebrity diners and a sort of “take-a-pizza, give-a-pizza” program to more goofy murals that would feature well-known personalities like John Lennon with pizza’s painted over his eyes and the words “Give Pizza Chance” or Homer Simpson spinning out pizza dough above his head with his signature catchphrase “D’oh” nearby.
“It’s got kind of a surreal vibe, a lot of humor and a lot of puns,” Copp says. “We’re really big into puns.”
Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images by Anya Zentmeyer/courtesy of Good Pizza Co.