Mini pizzas? Sign us up. Pizza is truly delicious at any size, and Crush Pizzeria, opening soon, is mastering miniature neapolitans at 6 inches in diameter each. It’s the brainchild of Matt Jarecki.
“I want everything that Crush is to be as cute and aesthetic as it is delicious,” says Jarecki.
You need only to look at Crush’s TikTok and Instagram pages to see the tastiness in store when Jarecki plans to get his personal pizzas to hungry mouths in hopefully just under a month and a half.
“I think the modern day pizza company or brand should live as much online as it is in the analog world, because we’re so hooked on these things,” Jarecki says. “I’m addicted to food videos anyway, so I figured any emerging restaurant should start out with that.”
Jarecki has a background in media but worked at renowned restaurant Pizzicletta in Flagstaff during college, moving up from dishwasher to cook, and learning the pizza game there. After graduating from Northern Arizona University, he moved to Houston and later Phoenix for his work in radio. That’s what he was doing until losing his job four months ago.
“I thought I wanted to do radio forever, but when I got laid off, I had some time to think for the first time in like four years,” Jarecki says. “And I started looking around and thinking about what I could do.”
He first made his own dough a few years back but was able to perfect the exact style he wanted during his time off. It’s made with sourdough starter to naturally leaven it and gets a bit of a char, similar to Pizzicletta’s, when cooked in a wood-fired oven. Jarecki remembers how kitchen staff used to make small pizzas from the extra dough that was left over every night.
“They were just so cute and visually appealing, and really since I left Pizzicletta, I’ve been thinking about those mini dough balls and just how cute those pizzas were,” Jarecki says.
Jarecki draws inspiration from his favorite meals for his inventive pizzas including his girlfriend’s grandmother’s stuffed clams which is a special dish they normally only get on Christmas. There’s also The Kids' Table that harkens back to the childhood favorite of grilled cheese, made with adult-friendly toppings like tomato, onion, Marsala, cream, Asiago and basil.
“I just want to make pizza taste like things I love, so a lot of times I’ll think about a delicious meal I like,” he says.
That includes other dishes like a Super Bowl charcuterie platter, peach cannoli and fun seltzer-based cocktails that all can be seen on Crush's social media with accompanying recipes and tutorials when possible. Jarecki plans to start out serving up four types of pies plus drinks on Friday and Saturday nights. Items like cannoli will be a special treat added in at another time. Currently, Jarecki and his girlfriend/business partner-in-crime are nailing down a trailer to use in setting up shop at farmers markets and empty parking lots. They’ll then focus on getting a storefront.
“Brick and mortar is the goal, but I just have to take baby steps. I have an idea of what I want that storefront to look like,” Jarecki says. “I want everything about the storefront we get to be Instagrammable, aesthetic and cute.”
For now, follow Crush online to see some very cute, extremely delicious-looking little pizzas, and like it says on one of their recent Instagram posts, “Carbs don’t count if they’re pretty.”