‘Origin Stories’ – Pipi’s pizza


BayBuzz Team21 September 2020

If you’re lucky enough to be on Pipi’s email list, you will have received “The Pipi Pizza Origin Story” as related by founder Alexandra Tylee. For the unlucky, we’ve pasted it below.

It inspires us to look for other interesting ‘Origin’ stories about Hawke’s Bay businesses.

If your company has an inspiring, captivating, ‘who would have thought’, unusual ‘Origin’ story, send it along to editors@baybuzz.co.nz

If we’re inspired, we’ll make you even more famous!

BayBuzz has its own ‘Origin’ story.

Founder Tom Belford discovered he had terrible Internet non-service (copper wire shared with phone) when he moved in 2005 into the home in the Tukituki valley he and his family had purchased from overseas. With US clients to support online, he desperately needed a decent service, but that was years away according to the telco.

So within days he scouted a few possible ‘plug in’ locations around the main roundabout in Havelock North, and stumbled into the then-office of the Village Press newspaper. There, in the turret looming above the i-SITE, John Smith and Mark Story gave him a desk … and a connection. And what a ‘connection’!

For the serendipitous result was to plug Tom immediately into the gossip and foibles of the Havelock North/Hastings communities. And soon the idea was hatched for a community blog — intended originally to be all humour and satire … BayBuzz, written by Tom and Mark.

And over the years from there it has spun out of control!

Send us your ‘Origin’ story.


The Pipi Pizza Origin Story

Pizza is from Italy … Naples. The word has been around since 997 A.D. but it is only in the last 100 to 200 odd years that it has been used to describe what we know as Pizza today.
The skill and devotion of those who make pizza in the traditional manner using specific techniques and ingredients is something to be admired and appreciated.

But at Pipi, we do things a little bit differently and I have felt a growing need to clear up exactly why this is and to explain the origin of the Pipi Pizza.

To start I am not Italian and nor is my Mother or Father I have a little bit of French blood but otherwise, I was lucky enough to grow up on a farm in Central Hawkes Bay and before that, we hail from the many different Isles of  Great Britain.
I have never made the claim that our pizza is in any way a traditional Italian pizza, how could I, rather I have taken an idea and followed it to where we are today.

This idea began in Italy in Florence where I had gone with my Uncle Charles for a week to look at all the Art galleries and museums. One night we went with a friend of his to a little restaurant by the river and it was there I had the pizza that has been the inspiration for what is now the Pipi Pizza.
It was a Calzone I think but the base was so thin and the mozzarella so soft and it was a deliciously perfect example of less is most definitely always more. So when I opened Pipi in Greytown and decide to put pizza on the menu it is that pizza I was thinking of.

But a lot of years and moments had passed in between those two events and so I did not try and replicate the pizza exactly, rather it was more the feel of it and the moment. Sure the base had to be as thin as possible the tomato silky and rich but also it was about spending time with my uncle, being in Florence, the deep blue of the cathedral ceiling and the feeling of time standing still that memories can have.

And in the years since we made our first Pizza in Greytown, there have been lots of different takes on it and sure we do use toppings that might not be completely traditional but we always make sure that they are the best quality we can find and we prepare them with great feeling and respect and always with a  commitment to capturing the idea of that first pizza and the feeling I got from being in that restaurant that night.

So while as I have said our pizza would not make it on to any list where the AVPN (The true Neapolitan Pizza Association) hang out my greatest ambition as with all our food is that it will make you feel happy.

While our Pizza’s history does not go back to 997 A.D. like all good food stories, it does involve family, flavours and memories.

Alexandra Tylee



BayBuzz Team21 September 2020

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