Pizza with Heart and Soul

The 2010 winner!

Pizza with Heart and Soul

Chefs & Experts

Pizza with Heart and Soul


They always say that if you really want to get something done, ask a busy person.

But I think it really takes asking someone who is passionate about the idea.

With passion, it doesn’t seem like work.

With passion, it’s easy to promote the idea.

With passion, you can’t help but share—it’s practically bursting out of you.

It’s the kind of passion we saw when we got the chance to talk with Rick and Jane Mines of Nima’s Pizza, winners of the Best Pizza in the USA (traditional) in 2010 and repeat winners in their region.

In fact, one of their latest pizzas is even called the “Heart and Soul,” which is exactly what the Mines have put into their pizza business.

These are people who grow some of the vegetables that go on their pizzas. Think about it—that means planting, weeding, harvesting and all the things that go along with getting fresh veggies.

These are people who make time for school groups to come in for demonstrations on how to make pizza.

These are people who get up even earlier in order to make homemade pastries to provide great desserts for their restaurant guests.

These are people who tell other operators about the competition and even go so far as to help them out during the competition (Rick’s been known to make a pepperoni run, or to flag down help, even for his competitors).

And, these are people who involve their regular customers in their preparations for the competition each year, having them come in for tastings. “They have to be honest with us,” says Rick. “It doesn’t help if they like everything!”

They’ll even give you instructions for how to reheat your leftover pizza. The key is a hot oven—if you have a baking stone, put it in the cold oven and turn it up to 500 degrees. Let it heat five minutes or so past the pre-heat signal, then add the pizza to the hot stone. Sprinkle a little fresh mozzarella on top and when the cheese is melted, your pizza will be hot through. (If you don’t have a stone, just put the pizza on a cookie sheet and place it in the oven once it is pre-heated).

To top it off, all tips are currently going to the local branch of the Salvation Army, with the full cooperation of all employees. Says one, “They helped us during the tornado; we want to give back.”

Now that’s heart and soul.

To read the full story, click on Pizza Competition Brings Nima’s World Wide Attention.


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