Pass the Politically Correct Pizza, Please

By Jamal Malik

If you are looking for another venue to express your contempt for corporate America, look no further than the Domino’s pizza boxes strewn about your floor.
The Metro Independent Business Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of independent business, has launched a campaign called “The Pizza Project!” to show that anyone within the greater metropolitan area can have his or her pizza delivered from a local place as opposed to a chain store.

The Metro IBA gives several exigencies for the program. Their first argument is that independents return 68% of dollars spent in their business to the local economy, while chains return only 43%, found by a 2004 study of a neighborhood in Chicago. Local businesses are more likely to have localized supply chains which will limit the costs required to shuttle back and forth to warehouses across state lines.
In addition, there are social benefits to local businesses, which foster a sense of a stronger community and can help reduce crime rates.
While conceived by the Metro IBA, a team of graduate students at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota implemented the program. Megan O’Meara, a second-year student at the Humphrey Institute and member of the team, said she chose this project for her capstone.
“It has a serious effect on where I’m living, especially being a college student,” she said. “Thousands of dollars of pizza are delivered to college campuses every day. Think of the difference it would make if that were in the hands of local business,” O’Meara said.

O’Meara’s role in the project consisted of doing the majority of the grunt work and event planning. She and her team members searched the 7-county metropolitan area for independent pizza delivery companies. If the businesses met the criteria as an independent, then the pizza chain was added to the Metro IBA roster.
When the team had finished, all of the chains were compiled on to a list with a map of the twin cities area. This map marked the “completion” of the project, proving that anywhere in the 7-county area it is possible to have independently made pizza delivered to your door.

O’Meara said that this is merely the first step away from large corporations.
“The Metro IBA will use this as a model for different industries. This is just sort of a unique, gimmicky way to grab attention,” she said.
The Metro IBA is sponsoring a speech by Stacy Miller, author of “Big Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses” and “The Hometown Advantage: How to Defend Your Main Street Against Chain Stores and Why it Matters,” Saturday, November 11, at 7 p.m. in the Macalester Chapel. Following the speech Miller will host a book-signing session, and three of the team members of “The Pizza Project!” will be present. General public admission is $7.00.

Local Pizza Places that
Deliver to Macalester:

Hot City
Reviewed by Matt Seidholz
1017 West 7th St.
651-690-1893

Hot City outshines Dominos in every way. Well, almost. Hot City’s clerk was a model of courtesy and accuracy over the phone, and I knew that, all through our exchange, he was smiling. I could hear it, I tell you. I could hear his smiles. But nobody’s smiling at Dominos. Maybe they’re depressed, or maybe their heroin habits have paralyzed their faces. I don’t know, I’m not a doctor. But if you have a fever for delicious pizza, served fast and hot by friendly people, I do have a prescription for you: Hot City.

My own pepperoni pie was delicious. The crust crunched in my mouth, the cheese was burnt just so, and it was moist to the very last slice. The fact that the ‘Weekly ate the cost made it even moister. But for all you spenders without a newspaper lining your pockets, I do have one big caveat: a medium, one-topping pizza costs fifteen dollars.

That’s a pretty penny.

Classic Pizza and Ice Cream
reviewed by Jamal Malik
466 Hamline Ave. S.

(651) 699-7263
The small pizza from Classic was equivalent to the medium of Domino’s, although it was a bit more expensive. Due to the number of times I had to repeat “I would not like cheese on my pizza,” I assume that the receptionist was not only a Hamline student but a future middle school gym teacher. However, despite my initial misgivings, the pizza was much better than expected. The pizza tasted more like a hand-made pizza, tasting more bready and less greasy. The driver was very polite, and the delivery was somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes. Classic Pizza is definitely a legitimate alternative to Domino’s.

Talon Powers – Checkerboard Pizza
511 N Snelling Avenue
651-645-0414
I ordered the extra large pizza, for which they used a pickup truck and conveyer to haul it in to my dorm. The pizza was enormous for its’ price of only $15. It was made New York style with thin crust, and it was laden with delicious grease, superb cheese, and sublime toppings. It took somewhere around a half hour to deliver, but the staff was very courteous, and it fed a few people easily.