You buy - we fly
The text in the picture
Please dont tip the pilot
When a call comes in to Airport Pizza, in Nome, Alaska, for three large pepperoni pies going out to Savoonga (pop. 648), chef Matt Tomter, 41 responds much as Domino's would: He takes the order, pops the pizzas into the oven, and' schedules the next available delivery. Nothing unusual there, except that Savoonga is 150 miles away as the crow flies-flies being the operative word.
"Nome is just like any other little town in America," explains Tomter. "It just happens to be 500 miles from the closest city with a road." Most would see that as a delivery obstacle; Tomter and his wife, Jeri Ann, who owns the pizzeria, saw an opportunity. Now, when folks in the Alaskan bush get a hankering for a 19-inch reindeer-sausage pie ($31 with free delivery), they can call the only pizza place with the motto "You buy! We fly!"
Airport Pizza bakes its pies halfway, then, through an agreement with Frontier Flying Service Inc., loads them onto regularly scheduled flights out to surrounding villages. "When people call in, we say 'Do you want that on the twelve o'clock flight or on the four o'clock flight?' says Tomter. Customers pick up their pizzas at the local airstrip, then pop them in the oven at home to finish the cooking process. Tomter has delivered orders as far as Barrow, 500 miles away.
With dozens of toppings to choose from (including Thai chicken and blackened halibut), Airport Pizza's selection is expanding along with the business, which recently upgraded to a new, larger location. Of course, in a place with brutal winters (Nome's average temperature in March: 9.4°F), it's really no surprise that Tomter's idea has, well, taken off. Even if a blizzard occasionally delays delivery for a few days.
CHARLES COXE MARCH 9, 2007 LIFE.COM