Tag Archives: pizza

Spring to the defense of every human life

Springtime, or primavera as we Italians call it, is a time to celebrate new life!

In nature we see the beauty of trees blooming, colorful flowers peeking through, the new grass growing like a fresh green blanket thrown over the winter’s dead brown brush. In recent times, our appreciation and dedication for nature and the environment has grown on a global scale. If only we could elevate society’s appreciation for the new life of every human being!

Though the protection of the life of each person has gained momentum due to the tremendous efforts of the pro-life movement, it still pales in comparison to the global awareness promoted by modern-day environmentalists. The prolife movement desperately needs help from our Catholic communities to strengthen the awareness of the dignity and sacredness of every human life, especially the most vulnerable.

We must be united for this cause. Without the right to life, there is no need for the right to liberty or the pursuit of happiness. You cannot feed, clothe, or shelter a person who loses the opportunity to be born and to live.

You’ve probably heard that the staggering number of abortions in the U.S. since they were legalized in 1973 now exceeds 60 million. In 1994, the Wall Street Journal quoted St. Teresa of Calcutta: “America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation.” How prophetic!

“When we see the image of a baby in the womb, we glimpse the majesty of God’s creation. When we hold a newborn in our arms, we know the endless love that each child brings to a family. When we watch a child grow, we see the splendor that radiates from each human soul. One life changes the world.” These words for the voiceless were spoken at the 2020 March for Life in Washington, D.C., by President Donald Trump. What great hope to see thousands of young people marching for life. Let us courageously join our voices, our actions, and our prayers to theirs!

We must ask: how am I promoting the protection of life? What more can I do for those in the womb, and those just born, who cannot speak for themselves? Always in truth, always in charity, let us speak to those who do not know or understand that every life is created by God, that every soul is sacred. Let us be united in prayer. For those who are able, there are so many good organizations on the front lines promoting life that could benefit from donations. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing,” wrote Edmund Burke. So let us all do something — great things!

Here’s an Italian pizza recipe that’s ideal for primavera or any season.

CHEF NEIL FUSCO is founder of Cucina Antica Foods, Corp., a specialty Italian food-products company. Raised on a farm in San Marzano in southern Italy, he learned his family’s production and cooking with the renowned San Marzano tomatoes they’d grown there since the 1800s. His 2017 cookbook, May Love Be the Main Ingredient at Your Table, presents amusing and heartfelt stories about faith, family, and recipes from his Old World childhood.


CHICKEN LA PIZZA

Ingredients:

1 jar of Cucina Antica La Pizza sauce
1 lb. ground chicken
½ cup mozzarella cheese
½ cup parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together ground chicken, ½ cup parmesan, and garlic, and season with salt and pepper.

Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Form chicken mixture into a large round crust, about 1/2” thick.

Bake until chicken is cooked through and golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and heat broiler.

Spread a thin layer of sauce, leaving a small border around the circumference of the pizza. Top with mozzarella and broil until cheese is melted, about 3 minutes. Garnish with more parmesan if desired.

The importance of focus

Tom Monaghan offers valuable life lessons on focusing on your goals and strategies . . .

Thomas Monaghan

In the early years of Domino’s Pizza, I was continually pressed by some of our people to diversify. Things were going well, the stores were increasing in sales every year, and new stores were opening at an ever faster clip.

But some felt that it could not last and that the bubble would burst. Opportunities to buy other small fast food chains were constantly coming up, and many thought that I had my head in the sand when I did not jump at these chances.

My feeling was that pizza was always going to be popular; I still love pizza today. Delivery would also always be in fashion because people wanted convenience. And because it was so tough to do well, we had to be focused. So, instead of diversifying and seemingly spreading the risk, I put all of my eggs in one basket and focused intently on it.

You could not be more focused: We had one company — Domino’s Pizza. It had one type of store — pizza delivery — with no sit-down facilities. During our best years (the 1980s) we offered pizzas in only two sizes and one drink, Coca-Cola. In most stores, the hours were short: 4:30 pm-12:30 am. Central stations (commissaries) processed all of the food so that the stores could stay focused on “handling the rush” — a phrase referring to keeping up with the orders during the peak hours.

In the 1980s we grew from 300 to 5,000 stores. We were the fastest-growing restaurant chain in history at that time. Our market share of pizzas delivered was 54%.

If I had stayed on that course, who knows where Domino’s would be right now! So, unless you’re in the “buggy whip” business, being fanatically focused is the right way to go.

At Ave Maria University, we are focused on only a relatively small number of majors that are the most important to the Church and society. At those, we aim to be the best.

Thomas Monaghan is Legatus’ founder and chairman. He is a member of Legatus’ Naples Chapter.

The power of focus

Vince Lombardi used to tell his rookie players that he wanted them to focus on only three things: God, family and the Green Bay Packers. Nothing else. I picked up on that in the early years of Domino’s Pizza. I told our people it is God, family and Domino’s.

Our best years were the ’80s. In fact, during that time we were the fastest growing restaurant chain in history. We went from 300 to 5,000 stores in 10 years with a record 954 store openings in 1985.

The main reason for this tremendous growth was a fanatical focus. We had only pizza and Coke in our stores, only two sizes of pizzas, and we only offered 12 oz. cans of Coke. Nothing else. Our hours were short. We were only open from 5:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. and until 2:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

With this focus, we had some of the busiest pizzerias in the country — without sit-down, without long hours and with a very limited menu.

But the key was we “handled the rush” — those 20% of the hours when we got 80% of our business. Because we stayed focused and handled this peak time, people got what they wanted: fast delivery.

Many franchisees complained that I was limiting their potential by restricting their operations. Over time, for various reasons (including lots of pressure from franchisees), we eased up on those restrictions, and sales went down … as well as profits.

I eventually had to rebuild the company. My strategy was to be more focused, and it worked. Some have said that Domino’s comeback in the ’90s was the greatest in the history of the restaurant industry.

I am trying to apply this same focus as Chancellor of Ave Maria University. We are attempting to offer only the most important majors and to do them extremely well. It is a lesson that I learned the hard way.

Perhaps you can learn from my mistakes by having a fanatical focus on God, family and your “core” business.