How did you get into pizza and what were you doing before you opened Red Sauce Pizza?
I’ve been making pizza since I was 18. I think I have managed like 4 pizzerias total in my life. Most recognizably was Apizza Scholls. I managed that kitchen for five years.
What are you doing at Red Sauce Pizza that’s unique among other pizzerias in the area?
We have so much great pizza in Portland. I think we have a very great crust, and we really work on keeping that and the bake of our pies consistent. I think dough is absolutely the most important part of making great pizza. We do a slow fermentation and combine two different organic flours. We grind, cure, and smoke all our own meats. I was manager of a grocery store meat department for two years. so I love playing with meat. We make all our own Canadian Bacon and Belly Bacon. We also do a lot of smoked meat specials like pulled pork or my favorite brisket.
We have incredible salads thanks to our farmers from the Side Yard Farm and Vibrant Valley Farms, both of which are woman-run. That’s always a plus for me.
Our spot is really special too. We have a wonderful lit patio and we pride ourselves on really good table service.
Portland is such a food-focused city with a pretty close-knit community of operators. What elements of other restaurants in town inspire you?
I really enjoy my food friends who are just real. I think being in this industry you are bombared by dudes and their ‘tudes and I could give a shit less. I am here to take care of my employees, community, my family and self.
I am a fan of Scotties Pizza Parlor because I love that you can get a slice of that quality. I also love Lovely’s Fifty Fifty because Sarah Minnick makes the most wonderful pizza creations that are provided by our farmers.
What’s the biggest daily challenge in running your pizzeria?
My biggest challenge is being taken seriously and getting the credit we deserve. We are never on any top pizza list, but we do have some of the best pizza in the city. But I have stopped caring about that stuff. I think the biggest challenge for any small business is keeping employees happy and getting customers in the door. So far so good!
What’s your biggest pizza pet peeve?
Green peppers and heart shaped pizza.
*This post is part of a month-long series featuring women in the pizza industry in honor of Women’s History Month!