The Pizza Worth a 2800 Mile Trip!

Imagine that you grew up with what you considered ‘the Perfect Pizza’, and you and your entire family were totally in love with them? Then all of you move hundreds and even thousands of miles away … but you still want that pizza. What do you do?

If you are David Schuler, you take a trip and return home with a carload of the frozen pizzas in uncooked form!

The name of the restaurant is Town Spa in Stoughton, Massachusetts – and happens to be my hometown pizza place. I grew up with an almost weekly ritual of grabbing some pizzas from the dingy, dusty bar/restaurant in downtown near the train station. Three pizzas would feed the five of us, though later on my brother and I could each quickly dispose of one of the pub-sized pies.

Later, in 1986 the Town Spa moved to a much larger – and cleaner – establishment a few miles down the road, and as always happens there was a great deal of concern and discussion about whether or not the pizza tasted the same and so on.

Time marches on and the Town Spa continued to grow in popularity and eventually started offering frozen pizzas for people to take home and heat up so they could enjoy it anytime. I have several friends and family who have done this a bunch of times – loading up a cooler with a dozen pizzas to bring home.

But David Schuler took that to a new level last year with 150 pizzas … which apparently wasn’t enough as he now has made another trek with 250 pizzas! Here is the story:

Most people have a favorite pizza place. For David Schuler his is Town Spa in Stoughton, about 1,400 miles away from his Madison, Mississippi home.

But that doesn’t prevent Schuler, a Stoughton native, from enjoying a slice (or more) of his favorite hometown pizza.

Schuler made headlines last August when he drove from his home in Madison, Miss. (north of Jackson, Miss.) to Town Spa and back again to pick up an order of 150 pizzas. He upped the ante this year by placing an order of 250 pizzas.

After enjoying lunch at the Stoughton restaurant early Saturday afternoon, he packed up his car with six coolers full of pizza – 100 plain cheese; 100 pepper and onion; and 50 linguica and onion – and began his journey back home to Mississippi.

Personally, while I loved the pizza I have left it behind. Some of the ingredients disagreed with Lisa’s system to the point that she really couldn’t enjoy it at all – which was something that was also true for one of my best friends, who discovered the sensitivity only after moving away and trying the pizza again. And recently my brother visited and brought a few frozen pizzas for us to share and neither of my kids found it all that remarkable.

But for someone like David Schuler, who loves his Town Spa pizza and just can’t get enough, this yearly trek has been a tremendous boon as he gets to see loads of old friends, be treated as a local celebrity, and get a great discount on his carload of pizza … oh, yeah, and he gets to spend the next several months enjoying his favorite pizza!

Head to the local news site for more coverage!

Categories: Gear Bits, News

3 replies

  1. When I started at UC Santa Cruz, there was a (literal) hole-in-the-wall pizza place downtown by the bus transit center. It was in a tiny, tiny place; one of those “only half as wide as a real restaurant” type places, with just a counter and some stools, along with the cooks flipping the dough and mixing the sauce. But it was awesome.

    Later, when the town of Santa Cruz built a new transit mall, the pizza place moved. Then it expanded to the nearby foot-mall. And now it’s franchised, and they have something like a dozen restaurants all over the bay area, including one in the San Jose airport.

    Now when I go back to California on business, it’s easy to get my Pizza My Heart fix. And it’s always good to see a favorite place of yours succeed, don’t you think?

    • It really IS great to see these places succeed! I know looking back on my childhood it is littered by placed that when we drove through town I would tell my kids ‘this is where X USED to be …’ and so on. And seeing the enthusiasm on Schuler’s face – and how much it means to my brother every time he swings through the Boston area to hit the Spa for a pizza … it is awesome.

    • Mom and pop places are always the best usually. However, I never dismiss chains any more mostly because I remember when MANY of them were mom and pops. These places all started out that way and whether you like their style of pizza or not, they too were once a small business:

      Pizza Hut (started by two brothers in Wichita, Kansas)
      Dominos (also by two brothers in Ypsilanti, Michigan)
      Little Caesars(two brothers again in Detroit)

      Eventually one of these mom and pops will break out again and then we’ll be saying they suck because I think that eventually you have to change the pizza because of your size. Doesn’t always happen that way but sometimes it does.

      With all that said, there are many things I ALWAYS buy lots of when I get back to one of my old home towns or favorite places(since dad was in construction and we moved a lot):

      Armellos Rolls (Vandergrift, PA)
      Tastykakes (Philly)
      Dr. Enuf Pop(Knoxville, TN)
      Giordano’s Deep Dish (Chicago, IL)
      Ale 81 Pop (now in parts of Ohio, but mostly in Kentucky)
      Portillos Hot Dogs (Chicago, IL)
      Tuzzi’s Pizza (Berwick, PA)
      Carrathers Subs(Berwick, PA)(Really a HOLE in the wall place…you can’t eat there but they make the best subs period…to me anyway.)

      Anytime I am in any rage of these places I have to make a pitstop and if it’s easy to carry a bunch back, I do! :-)