Popping, crackling Golden Bertolli, fresh dough, tomatoes from Salerno, buffalo mozzarella from Caserta, Fior di Latte, and Parmigiano Reggiano are the ingredients of a slice of pizza I had at a local Brooklyn pizza place last week.Let me tell you a little bit more. Only one individual makes the pie, an older man. He also serves the pies and slices to the customers. His daughter sometimes helps to serve and makes the entrées, pasta, and heroes. The customers clean off the tables (and not just their own).

That gentleman, no one else, carefully makes each pie, and while putting on those fine ingredients, never turns or even hears the customers lining up at the counter. They must do that because it’s only pick-up, and nothing is delivered.

If you order a pie it can take as long as an hour. Order a slice and the wait might be twenty minutes. Ah, it is well worth the wait and price ($2.50 per round slice) for many reasons. One is the pride that this special individual takes in preparing each pie, as he slowly ladles the tomato sauce, puts on the different cheeses, and pours on the olive oil. Basil, sometimes home-grown in the pizza shop’s window, is placed on the hot round pie, which is taken out of the oven bare-handed, with a sprinkling of cheese then added.

There is a debate over which is better, the round or square slice. Both are exquisite. Don’t believe me?

Check out the many Zagat’s and other awards on the wall, or the numerous framed articles from local and national newspapers and magazines, including a number of gourmet food publications. Better yet, pick up the book A Slice of Heaven, in which the author identifies the best pizza in the U.S. I believe seven are identified, and this local shop’s is one of them. Or ask Rob Reiner, who made a special trip to taste the pizza.

Interestingly, one day in Nashville, I told a leading consultant to accounting firms about the pizza. Months later, when he got to New York he had a couple of slices. The next day he went to call at a very successful regional accounting firm and spent most of the day telling all who would listen about his experience at that pizza shop. He spoke more of the man and what he saw than the pizza. But he loves that too. The next trip back to New York, he took a 45-minute subway ride to savor two more slices.

I guess that consultant, for whom I have the highest respect, also sees a connection between that professional and those in the public CPA community. I take my hat off to this father-and-daughter pizza team, and to the professionals in the CPA community who take a similar relentless and consistent approach to providing quality products and services.

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