NIKISKI - As you walk through the door into Charlie's Pizza, you'll see pizza dough being hand-tossed through in the air and gracefully caught.
That is one of the first steps in creating a pie at Charlie's Pizza. The dough, owner Steve Charberlain said, is what sets his pizzas apart from the rest.
“Kassiks' local beer,” Chamberlain says while saucing a pizza. “Great porter makes great pizza.” He moves the pizza he is working on down the line and lists of the ingredients.
“This is the Greek. The Greek has about nine different toppings.”
Chamberlain a has been running the shop for about six and a half years.
“It’s a scary thing to start your own business and put that much into it,” said Chamerlain, adding that he should have done it 20 years ago. “I put everything I had into it. I put my heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears. It paid off.”
Steve and his wife Jennifer Chamberlain started the parlor after their eldest son was born.
“Charlie is 8 years old, [and a] hockey player,” said father Steve Chamberlain. “I named it after him. It sounded better than Steve’s Pizza.” He laughs and continues making a pizza he calls the Bomb Diggity.
It took less than a year to get everything up and running. Chamberlain cleared the lot and built everything, inside and out, with the help of friends.
Since those days, his staff, building and menu and family have all grown.
“We had such a big rush that we couldn’t really handle it. We had to expand.”
Charlie's has done a lot of changing in the years that its been open, but Jennifer Chamberlain said one thing will always stay the same.
“We chose when we opened this business to have some strange, limited hours. Some people don’t really understand, but it allows us to have family time,” said Jennifer, who also works in the pizza parlor full time. “We get a weekend like everyone else, we are closed on Sunday and Monday. We have never changed that, and I don’t think we ever will.”
The couple said that's because without family Charlie's would never exist.