Zaw in Redmond gives artisan pizza a bit of SOUL | SLIDESHOW
By SAMANTHA PAK
Redmond Reporter Reporter
January 2, 2013 · Updated 3:02 PM
The thought of pizza usually brings to mind pizza toppings.
And while there’s nothing unusual about throwing a bit of meat and cheese along with some veggies and maybe some fruit on a pie, typical toppings usually run along the lines of pepperoni, mozzarella, peppers and pineapple.
Typical pizza toppings rarely include prosciutto, gorgonzola cheese, fresh arugula or pears.
The new store opened just after Thanksgiving and offers artisan pizzas that diners can take home and bake in their own ovens. With varieties such as My Big Fat Greek Pizza featuring Kalamata olives, feta cheese and other key flavors of Greece, the Chicago Deli made with in-store sliced deli meats and the Cowardly Apricot, a pizza with a slightly sweet twist, there is something for everyone, from the most adventurous diners to pizza lovers who want to stick with the more traditional. There is even a Pipsqueak option of a smaller, one-topping pizza for kids. Zaw also offers traditional, whole-wheat and gluten-free crust options, as well as a selection of local beers and wines to pair with the pizzas.
Co-founders and co-owners Greg Scott and Greg Waring started Zaw about four years ago in Seattle. The two men, who didn’t meet until they were adults, both grew up eating homemade pizza made with toppings fresh from their gardens.
Scott said for him, pizza was a time for social gathering as he and his family would congregate to make it together.
Scott and Waring wanted to recreate this feeling for their customers when starting Zaw (a slang term they use for pizza) and focused on giving their products SOUL: seasonal, organic, unique and local.
He said at Zaw, they work with local farmers and have even sold their pizzas at farmers markets.
“We haven’t done the Redmond market yet, but we’re excited to be a part of it hopefully,” Scott said.
In addition to sourcing their ingredients locally, Zaw also focuses on using fresh ingredients. Scott said they make all of their sauces in-house, slice the meats in the store and use only fresh herbs — never dried.
Scott said freshness is so important to them that they typically don’t have freezers in any of their stores. This changed when the Redmond location opened — which is the seventh store, with five more in Seattle and one on Mercer Island. Customers can also purchase dessert at the Redmond Zaw as the store also sells ice cream from Seattle-based LICK Pure Creamery, which focuses on using local and seasonal ingredients like Zaw.
With Zaw’s focus on quality ingredients and supporting local farmers, Jared MacIlvaine, an area manager who works at the Redmond Zaw, said one of his favorite things about working at Zaw is being able to stand behind their product.
Store manager Marisa Gard agreed, calling their pizza “just really good food” and “all-around awesome.”
Scott said one of the benefits of a bake-at-home pizza is that people can order in advance — either over the phone or online — and pick it up whenever they want and bake it whenever they want. He said people will often order a pizza the day before a big football game or other sporting event.
MacIlvaine can attest to this.
“We were slammed before the Seahawks game on Sunday,” he said, referring to the Dec. 23 game against the San Francisco 49ers.
MacIlvaine said although they haven’t even been open for two months, things are looking good.
“We’ve caught up to all of our stores as far as what we do on a weekly basis,” he said, adding that they are starting to see a number of regulars, as well.Contact Redmond Reporter Reporter Samantha Pak at email@example.com or 425-867-0353, ext. 5052.