Tommie’s Pizza serves authentic New York-style pizza just down the street from our Selby store. Read our Q&A with owner Tommie Daye (pictured above with his daughter Tamia) to learn more about this local business!
When did you start cooking? Tell us more about your story with food.
I first started cooking in 1989 at T. Wrights in Minnetonka, Minnesota. When we were expecting our first kid, I started there as a dishwasher, then moved on to be a cook, and a year later they picked me to be the kitchen manager and to launch a new pizza offering. I immediately caught on and developed a passion for cooking that I still have today. I have spent most my career cooking and managing restaurants in the Twin Cities area. Most recently I was the culinary director at a nursing home.
When and why did you decide to open Tommie’s Pizza?
After managing other restaurants for many years, my wife, Dana, found the location now known as Tommie’s Pizza and encouraged me to go and look at it. We looked at it and right away I sensed that it could be made into a great business. It was a great location, had a pizza oven and a walk-in cooler, so I just needed to build out the rest of the space. We opened Oct. 28, 2018, and have grown year over year ever since.
What makes Tommie’s Pizza unique?
I think what makes Tommie’s Pizza unique is that we are the first and only Black-owned pizzeria and we are also family-operated. I have seven kids and most of them, plus my wife and other family members, all work at the shop. We currently have only 5-star ratings, 275 of them, and that is because the pizza you get from us is our best pizza and we put everything we can into every piece of pizza. We make our sauce, crust and sausages from scratch and only use fresh ingredients, many of which are organic.
What is your favorite thing on the menu/what would you recommend to someone coming to Tommie’s for the first time?
My favorite thing on the menu is the Tommie’s Special, which is sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms and onions. This recipe goes back to my days learning to cook at T. Wrights, with some improvements. The Selby wings are another favorite of mine and I recommend you try both of these items if you’re new to Tommie’s Pizza.
How has the pandemic affected your business?
COVID-19 has affected my daily operations, as my hours have been reduced to 3 to 8 p.m. when before they were 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. It has also affected our interactions with our customers after closing our inside dining and only offering take-out and outside dining for our customers. That said, we are fortunate to remain busy and that pizza is an easy take-out option for many of our customers.
What is your vision for Tommie’s Pizza in five years?
Our vision for Tommie’s Pizza in the next five years is to open more stores and maintain our very high level of quality ingredients and great customer service.
How can co-op members support Tommie’s Pizza?
Co-op members can support us by trying us out and, if you like us, please recommend us to friends, family and associates.
Our Community Partners are small, independent local businesses that have been hit especially hard by the effects of COVID-19. Join us in solidarity and show your love for our community by continuing to eat, drink and shop locally. Co-op member-owners get 10% off any order at Tommie’s Pizza!