RIDGEFIELD, CT — After making and tasting thousands of different types and styles of pizza, a husband and wife duo launched their Ridgefield-based DIY pizza-making company called PIY, Pizza It Yourself, to the delight of families across Fairfield County. Ed Winstanley, from Westchester County, and his wife Grace Winstanley, from the Victoria, British Columbia, originally met at IBM and started a staffing business based in New York City 10 years ago.
“We ate copious amounts pizza while living in NYC before moving to Ridgefield,” Grace said. “We’re obsessed with pizza but with a big family and staffing business, we knew it wasn’t realistic to open a restaurant. Hello Fresh and Blue Apron appeared on the scene but we didn’t see anyone addressing our favorite meal so we started packing up dough, cheeses, and sauce for our neighbors to try out. We loved that the credit was given to the chef at home— neighborhood kids saying that their Mom’s pizza is ‘the best.” Families were enjoying the experience together and wanting more pizza!”
The couple moved to Ridgefield in 2013 after looking for a “family-friendly” town in Fairfield or Westchester County.
“When we first drove through Ridgefield and met some of the locals, it was instant, we fell in love and knew we’d found our new hometown,” Grace said.
Ed who used to work in IT and currently owns a staffing business has prior experience working at a pizzeria with his brother who had a pizzeria in Vermont. Eventually, the brothers moved closer to home and Will took over Il Sorriso in Irvington, New York. Ed experimented making pizza at home until he perfected the recipes and techniques.
“My brother and I talked about pizza recipes on a regular basis and when he came over for lunch one day, he was blown away that I had made a perfect pizza in a regular kitchen oven. It was that moment we knew pizza at home could be very special,” Ed shared.
The couple said what makes their pizza so special is not only the incredibly fresh, clean and delicious dough and ingredients but the experience of making artisanal pizza at home with family and friends.
“We love bringing people together over a delicious, easy to prepare a meal. Families are busy and we’re hoping to bring back a better version of Pizza Friday sans shopping or prep work. Recent studies show the benefit of families eating together, from improved relationships to lower symptoms of depression and drug use. We hope to make a difference by strengthening the family bond, the fabric of our society,” Grace stated.
In addition to bringing family and friends together for a delicious, healthy meal, PIY also does all they can to support the local community by doing fundraisers for organizations and nonprofits.
Grace Winstanley said that the couple loves hearing about their customers’ passion for pizza night. “We enjoy hearing about their new pizza traditions— how they look forward to pizza night and how dinner is prepared with and by their kids. We have 10-year-olds who love making pizza for the family and now the parents can ask, ‘What’s for dinner?'”
PIY currently delivers fresh ingredients to families in Ridgefield, Danbury, Bethel, and Redding. For more information visit www.pizzapiy.com.
Photo by Grace Winstanley