&pizza Opens in Harvard Square: an Interview with Michael Lastoria (CEO of &pizza)


On this episode of ZUCKER, host Andrew Zucker invites &pizza CEO Michael Lastoria on the show to talk about &pizza’s arrival in Harvard Square. Lastoria opens up about &pizza’s values, communication between company leadership and employees, as well as the future of the &pizza.

On why the company uses an ampersand in its name: For me, the idea was creating a values-based company and the symbol that best reflected those values was the ampersand. So to &pizza, the ampersand is all about promoting unity and doing the right thing. And thats been sort of our m.o. dating back to opening our first pizza shop in 2012, which has led to to us paying above the minimum wage, fighting for an increase [in] federal minimum wage.

On other pizzerias in Harvard Square: &pizza has always sort of been in its own category, meaning that when we come into a neighborhood, we’re absolutely not taking away business from other pizzerias. This is more about a different occasion, so you may get that great slice on a Thursday, &pizza on a Friday.

On the store’s partnership with Milk Bar: It's our remake of the old combo shops. Christina Tosi and I — it really started off as friendship and she's done something in the sort of bakery, dessert world that I find to be incredibly admirable and inspirational given that she brought her own unique point of view on flavors that people had never tasted before.