Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Selling Satisfaction ; Clay County Restaurant Cooks Up Simple, Fresh Pizza

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Selling Satisfaction ; Clay County Restaurant Cooks Up Simple, Fresh Pizza

Article excerpt

NEBO - A small "open" sign beckons visitors down a gravel walkway past a couple of wooden picnic tables to a rather nondescript white brick building in Ed Miller's yard. Inside, Miller, a former insurance underwriter, his wife, Joy, a Spanish teacher at Clay County High School, and their son Stephen, a Concord University graduate, are hard at work, baking wood-fired artisan pizzas and scooping frozen treats for hungry guests.

It may not be the fanciest of pizzerias, but for the Millers, sometimes basic is best.

"There's beauty in simplicity," Stephen said. "We make everything home-made with fresh, real ingredients."

The family built the shop, called Pizzas & Cream, from the ground up - literally - beginning with the oven that stands at the center of the small kitchen.

"We did things a little bit backwards," Ed said. "I never had any intention of going into the restaurant business."

What Ed had actually wanted was to add a grill to his backyard, but after taking an anniversary trip to Italy in 2009, he became interested in the idea of a backyard brick oven. So, he saved his "lawnmower money and in the summer of 2013, enlisted Stephen's help on a summer project, at a rather opportune time - when Joy was away.

"By the time she got back, we were past the point of no return, Ed laughed.

They completed the project in early August, and Ed said it wasn't long before their homemade pies were a hit among family and friends.

"A lot of them got to try it and said that we really needed to do it as a business, Ed said. "The product was so good and the response was so good that we just decided to go for it.

They opened to the public in March, and today, the Millers stand firmly behind the simplicity of their recipes - and customers seem to agree.

Luanne Smith, a New Jersey native, said she even prefers the Millers' pizza to those in her home state.

"It's better than anything there, she said. "I love the crust.

The crispy, chewy crust is made with only five ingredients: non- GMO, non-bromated, non-bleached flour; salt; water; yeast; and a sourdough starter. It's topped with a plum tomato, basil and salt sauce, and seasoned with hand picked herbs.

"We get fresh herbs like basil, oregano, rosemary and sage from the garden while in season, Stephen said. …

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