Look, I know in a day all you’ll be able to think about is turkey, turkey, turkey.
But if you’re looking for something quick to make before the all-day Thanksgiving extravaganza begins, or a reprieve from the leftovers once it is over, the new Donatello’s Take & Bake Pizza is here to help. The locally owned pizza place near Village One on Lakewood Avenue opened earlier this month and has already garnered several five-star Yelp reviews. Husband-and-wife owners Bryan and Alicia Ege named the shop after their 13-year-old daughter Aydryanna’s childhood nickname, Donny — short for Donatello from the pizza-loving Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The TMNT theme can be seen in the take-and-bake pizza shop’s purple and green accents, as well as a mixer playfully painted with a mask like the animated heroes. The other similarity is, of course, the appreciation of pizza.
Bryan has managed a pizzeria in the past, and ran his own hot dog cart for a while. But Donatello’s is the family’s first brick-and-mortar place. The dough and sauce are both made from scratch, daily. The Eges said they pride themselves on their fresh ingredients and unique pies. And it shows in their slogan, “Our Love’N, Your Oven.”
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“We liked the idea of people getting pizza fresh from their own oven,” Bryan Ege said. “’Our Love’N, Your Oven’ is how we feel about the pizza. It’s very important to us that people like the food.”
Ege makes the unbaked pizzas to order on site. Their menu includes make-your-own plus an array of specialty pizzas from an all-meat pies to pesto chicken and a traditional combination. But Donatello’s isn’t afraid to get out their with its flavors. Also on the menu are a spaghetti and meatball pizza (with real spaghetti and meatballs), a cordon bleu pizza (with the the classic chicken, Canadian bacon, Swiss cheese and white sauce) and an “Islander” pizza (a pumped-up Hawaiian pizza with pineapple, a variety of meats, green onions and barbecue sauce).
“It sounds kind of crazy, spaghetti on pizza, but once people try it they are hooked,” Alicia Ege said.
Each pizza comes with a baking instruction sheet (450 degree oven for 9-12 minutes). Pies range in price from $8-$10 for a small to $18-$25 for a large 16-inch (with no sales tax added, since it is unbaked.) Donatello’s also has pre-made romaine salads and chocolate eclairs for dessert people can pick up to make for a complete meal.
Bryan and Alicia still work their day jobs — running an online sports apparel store anda surgical tech at Doctors Medical Center, respectively — while staffing the pizza shop with some assistance from family. Daughter Aydryanna helps out sometimes, too. And said she loves having the shop named after her.
“It makes me feel special, it’s awesome,” she said. “What kids can say they have a pizza place named after them?”
The family hopes to make its customers feel just as awesome with a pre-Thanksgiving special available this Wednesday. All pizzas, regardless of size and toppings, will be on sale for $10 for the day. Now that’s something to cowabunga about.
Donatello’s Take & Bake Pizza is open 1 to 8 p.m. daily at 1532 Lakewood Ave, Suite 2, just south of Briggsmore Avenue. For more information call 209-622-0524 or visit them on Instagram @donatellos_take_and_bake_pizza.
Elsewhere around the Business Beat:
Longtime Ceres shop Exotic Pets has announced it has sold its last furry friend.
After close to 30 years in business on East Whitmore Avenue, the independently owned pet store announced on Facebook last week it closing. The shop sells a variety of small animals, reptiles and birds as well as pet supplies. The store is currently having a going-out-of-business sale now to liquidate all of its inventory as well as the store fixtures, aquariums, cages, computers and more.
For more information visit the store at 2531 E. Whitmore Ave. Suite I or call 209-531-2060.