Published October 30, 2012
Small businesses looking to make a name for themselves in a crowded market, take note. Want to edge out your competition? Try staying open during a hurricane, then making -- and even delivering -- more than 1,000 pizzas in 30 hours.
That’s what Uncle Paul’s Pizza, located on 46th St. and Vanderbilt Ave. in New York City, did during Hurricane Sandy. The startup, less than four months old, managed to crank out more than 1,000 pizza pies with just five workers while the hurricane raged outside, according to co-owner Dino Redzic.
Uncle Paul’s was planning a Grand Opening celebration ahead of the hurricane, when they were planning to receive the keys to the city, Redzic said.
“In this location, we built our store up from scratch,” he said. “We were stranded anyway, so it was a pleasure to be open. People need to eat, and we were the only people in the area. Looks like we are again today as well.”
With many workers residing in outer boroughs, Redzic said the team Uncle Paul’s typically has of around 15 people was shaved down to five. The staff braved the elements, delivering to Zone A, where JPMorgan Chase, Met Life and even FOX News and FOX Business teams were reporting from as Sandy rolled in.
“My God, we made more than 1,000 pies,” he said. “We delivered to Battery Park, and Second Ave., where it was a little terrifying. It looked like a war zone, with cars collapsed in the streets. South Battery Park, the FDR Drive, they were all under water.”
Many of the orders, however, were picked up in store, Redzic said.
“Each one of us has been up for over 30 hours, and I am still going on no sleep,” he said. “Today looks like we will be even busier than yesterday, but hopefully our rescue will come from our employees, if they open the bridges.”
And until that happens, Redzic said he has no plans to slow down.
“If I have the manpower, we can go like this for days,” he said. “All we need are fresh tomatoes, flour, water and cheese.”