A new brand of pizza comes to town
Chuckie Pies brings Neapolitan flavor to Lake Oswego
Lisa Shaw-Ryan is a can-do person, and she decided something was missing in downtown Lake Oswego: Neapolitan pizza.
But who would be this pizza trailblazer? Herself, of course. Shaw-Ryan was already remarkably busy as a business owner, wife and mother, but love of Neapolitan pizza was in her heart. She borrowed the name of her inimitable husband, Chuck, and she soon had herself a pizza parlor on Fifth Street.
I wanted to have Neapolitan pizza on this side of town, Shaw-Ryan said. I thought, Why not us? The time is now. If you dream about and desire something, go after it.
Why Neapolitan pizza?
Shaw-Ryan said, Its simple, its really good, its not complicated. Good food is not complicated. I like Italian food. Im a good home cook, but Im not a chef. But this was within my skills.
Shaw-Ryan headed south to California to become Neapolitan pizza-certificated at one of the nations leading pizza making academies (VPN Pizza School), where she became imbued with the art and tradition of Neapolitan pizza and learned the secrets of making good pizza: yeast-risen dough, simple San Marzano tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil, basil, mozzarella cheese and, most of all, a wood-fired oven.
Chuckie Pies has been open only a few weeks, and already people like it a lot. It seems that the only problem it will have is finding enough room for customers.
People are pleased with it, Shaw-Ryan said. Its filling a need in the marketplace, and it has an environment where people are comfortable. It creates a feeling you have at Chucks.
Chucks, of course, is Chucks Place, the very large coffee shop on Second Street that has succeeded in achieving the Shaw-Ryans goal of becoming one of the front porches of Lake Oswego. Big crowds show up every morning for coffee, cookies, muffins and to talk very loudly so they can be heard over the din of other coffee lovers.
Chuck jokes that he has applied for a job as a pizza delivery guy at Chuckie Pies, but he will be showing up to add his talents as a humorist and master of ceremonies. Meanwhile, Shaw-Ryan and her talented assistants will be firing up the wood fire oven and baking pizza after pizza. They have already gotten a stream of steady customers, including their sons, Jackson and Mac.
Shaw-Ryan has some plans in the works. She will soon offer takeout pizza and gluten-free pizza dough made by the queen of gluten-free baking, Kyra Bussanovich of Kyras Bake Shop in Lake Oswego.
Chuckie Pies is already receiving support from Shaw-Ryans business friends on Fifth Street and other locations in Lake Oswego.
We have a tight-knit community here, she said. That is a big piece of our success. We all encourage each other in Lake Oswego.
Chuckie Pies is open 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, call 503-342-6207. It is located at 430 Fifth St.
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