Special Sauce: Paulie Gee on the Fear and Joy of Quitting Your Day Job


[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]

Pizza lovers know Paulie Gee, a.k.a. Paul Giannone, this week's Special Sauce guest, as the owner of the eponymous pizzeria founded in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. But as good as his pies are, and they're damn good, his unlikely path to pizza entrepreneur—there are now Paulie Gee's outposts in Columbus, Ohio; Baltimore; Chicago; and Miami, each opened with the help of pizza-obsessed locals—is even more impressive.

We at Serious Eats first encountered Paulie in the site's early years, and long before his pizza began racking up glowing reviews. At the time, Paulie had been working as an IT guy at AT&T for 18 years, and was a frequent commenter on our pizza blog, Slice. (Fun fact: He and his wife also ran an Amway distributorship.) He had built a wood-burning pizza oven in his backyard, and invited Slice's founder and our first managing editor, Adam Kuban, over to his house to try it. The result of that backyard experiment? Paulie quit his day job and opened the original Paulie Gee's in 2010, and the rest is delicious history. For anyone who's ever contemplated giving up the nine-to-five, it's an exciting and inspiring story, as you'll find out when you listen. As Paulie himself says, "Go out and do what you love—don't be working for somebody else's dream."

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