Mama Mead’s Pizza Under New Ownership

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Maya Wilson checks dough at Mama Mead's Pizza

When Anita Wilson walked into Mama Mead’s Pizza, located at 900 Coffman Street, Longmont, looking for pizza dough last fall, she had no idea her life was about to change. The mother of a blended family of nine was working as a day cook at Kelly’s Grill and Pub in Mead. She was also thinking of opening a food truck and wanted the dough to experiment with pizza rolls.

Heather Gibbons, then owner of Mama Mead’s, heard her plans and asked, “Have you ever thought about bricks and mortar [storefronts]?” She showed Wilson the Craigslist ad she was writing at that moment, advertising the business for sale. Wilson was “so excited she could barely talk.” She took the weekend to consider the idea and run it past her husband.

They met with Gibbons the following Monday. Initially, Wilson felt purchasing the business outright would cost too much. But then Heather asked, “What if I carried you?”

Mama Mead’s specializes in New York style pizza with a “very, very thin crust, kind of floppy,” Wilson explains. “You can fold it. We also make our own pesto in-house, a pistachio pesto handed down from Heather that you can eat with a spoon! And we have the best meatball ever made!”

Wilson officially took the reins on New Year’s Day, after a couple months of coaching from Gibbons, who taught her the intricacies of dough and “cooking by feel.”

One of Gibbon’s employees, Nygel Mikkelson-Jones, stayed on, helping Wilson and her teenage daughter, Maya, learn to “shimmy” pizzas in and out of the 550-degree brick pizza oven.

Wilson is keeping lots of things the same, particularly the dough. “Why mess with perfection?” she said. “We make the dough daily. And everything is completely fresh. I hear from everyone who comes in, if they are from anywhere from Chicago eastward, they say that this is the best New York style pizza they’ve ever had.”

However, Wilson is excited about expanding the menu into spaghetti, pasta, and kid’s meals, as well as adding daytime pizza deliveries. She upgraded Mama Mead’s gluten-free offerings, too, saying that her GF clientele tripled in the last two months.

Also in the works is a sprawling 28-inch pie that will only be available to eat in. “I couldn’t find a box anywhere,” Wilson rued.

The mammoth 24-inch pies set Mama Mead’s apart from the crowd. “A ‘large’ at other places,” Wilson boasts, “is only fourteen inches.” As well as being an asset, the 24-inch pizzas present Wilson’s biggest challenge, though. They’re not only heavy, but “if you put it in wrong,” says Maya, “it will fold and rip a hole in it.”

“Humongous” slices draw in a lunchtime crowd that has doubled since Wilson took over. “We are one of the only ones that sell by the slice here in Longmont,” Wilson says. “It’s a larger slice, and you can fold it over and eat it.” The small eat-in space is often packed at noon, and a favorite with students from Longmont High.

The business is truly a family enterprise, with everyone pitching in. Wilson’s husband, Mike, is a software engineer by day and a pizza delivery guy by night. “He does it well,” Wilson enthuses, “he loves the driving.” Maya and Nygel man the ovens in the evening, and one of Wilson’s other teenage daughters, Alyssa Cislo, handles daytime deliveries. The ‘littles,’ as Wilson refers to her kids under ten, “are our garbage disposal.”

Wilson’s self reliance has bloomed in the two months she’s been at the helm. “We are definitely in a mode of readiness,” she said, “I feel confident that we can come together as a family team to bust these pizzas out!”

Mama Mead’s is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Deliveries are available through Grub Hub and Easy Eats.


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1 COMMENT

  1. back in my college days i worked in a pizza shop… I made pretty good pizza’s if I do say so myself, but we were not allowed to wear any jewelry, watches rings while we were making the pizzas … just saying

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