Honoring Women's Pizza Month with Delicious Tributes, Scholarships

Honoring Women's Pizza Month with Delicious Tributes, Scholarships
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When pizzaiolo and influencer Christy Alia created her popular Instagram account, @realcleverfood, most people assumed she was a man based on pizza pics alone. It was a disappointing start to her business — but one that also spurred a movement. Along with Alexandra Mortati, marketing director of Orlando Foods, Women In Pizza/Women’s Pizza Month was founded with the idea that pizza making is for everybody.

Pizza for Everyone
“There are a lot of women pizza owners who I really admire. I consider Nancy Silverton the OG,” Alia said. “I respect Tony Gemignani — he’s an amazing pizza maker, amazing business guy, amazing person. I truly love the guy. But why is he the OG? Why not Nancy? Why not some of these women who were changing the way we look at pizza way earlier on?”

Alia’s plea goes toward exclusion. Include women in the conversation, don’t exclude them. The attitude that pizza makers are only men moves the industry backward instead of forward. 

PMQ Magazine said it best: “Never mind that women were often the recipe makers, teachers, motivators and nurturers to most, if not all, of the men who came to dominate the segment. Women lent their names to countless pizzerias around the U.S., but most of us only knew those names — usually someone’s mom or grandmother — in relation to the man who owned and ran the shop. We didn’t know who the women really were or the outsize role they played in that pizzeria’s success."

“We have a chance here. We have all these home pizza ovens that are showing up in people’s backyards,” Alia said. “As an Ooni ambassador I don’t want to see them going the way of other companies where it’s become a man’s domain.”

Photo by Christy Alia

LloydPans’ Contribution 
Surprisingly, Alia said that she found out just last year that LloydPans’ CEO and president was a woman. 

“I thought that was the coolest thing. I admire Traci [Rennaker] as a person and as a businesswoman,” she said.

LloydPans followers are invited to take part in Women’s Pizza Month in a number of ways:

  • Honor important women in your life with a special pizza on your menus
  • Create a unique pizza dedicated to a woman who has inspired you and tell the story
  • Share your pizzas and stories on social media using #womenspizzamonth and @realcleverfood. Even better, bake it in a LloydPans pizza pan and tag @LloydPans

Pizza for Everyone
Inspiration through Education
The motivation for Women’s Pizza Month is not only through talk. There is an educational component through a new scholarship. Alia has partnered with Stanislaus Foods and Corto Olive Co. to develop a new scholarship program for aspiring pizzaiolo. The program will award five scholarships for a multiday intensive Master Pizza Seminar at Pizza University — or awardees can pick any course they want anywhere in the world. Candidates can apply for the scholarship here through May 15.

The scholarship application process is simple. You must live in the U.S. and not own a brick and mortar or be the manager of it. Pop ups or home pizza makers are eligible. Alia said that she hopes the scholarship encourages women and empowers them to take the next step if they’re thinking about going into a brick and mortar business. 

“This scholarship exists to help women to take the next step,” Alia said. “Women’s Pizza Month is not owned by any brand. I don’t even feel like I own it. Obviously it’s my baby but I want to promote as many women’s businesses and women pizza makers as possible and truly make it as inclusive as possible. Nobody owns the pizza oven; it belongs to everyone."

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