After a few years of searching for a spot in the Concord area to open a pizza shop, Evan and Georgia McKenzie finally settled on a storefront on Fort Eddy Road. The couple opened Pizza Market, a family business started by Georgia’s father, on April 17. Banners outside the shop wave in celebration of its grand opening.
“We live close by and the traffic count is high along here,” said Evan McKenzie, of Weare.
Georgia McKenzie has been helping out with her father’s pizza shops since she was 10 years old, and Evan McKenzie helped at her sister’s Pizza Market in Sunapee before opening his own shop with his wife. Most of the recipes were created by Georgia McKenzie’s family.
“It’s the Greek lifestyle — you have to be in a pizza place,” Evan McKenzie said of his wife’s family’s heritage.
While Pizza Market counts coconut chicken fingers among its signature dishes, what the shop is really known for is its 20-inch pizza. The jumbo pizza, Evan McKenzie said, can weigh up to six pounds depending on its toppings and can feed up to four people.
The 20-inch pizza dough is folded in half to make impressively large calzones at the shop, each made with three different cheeses. Customers may select up to five fillings for their calzone.
Dough for the pies at Pizza Market is hand tossed as orders come in, rather than being pre-rolled by a machine and kept in a refrigerator. The McKenzies use a “secret family recipe” for the sauce on their New York-style pizzas. Georgia McKenzie said their sauce is on the sweeter side but that you can definitely taste the added spices. She later added that she prefers just cheese on her pizza so she can better taste the sauce.
“The sauce is key; it has to be spread on evenly,” Evan McKenzie said, adding that pies at Pizza Market are kept in the oven for up to eight minutes, depending on the amount of toppings.
Chicken Ranch (marinated chicken, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, broccoli, made with ranch dressing in lieu of red sauce), the Pizza Market Special (pepperoni, ham, sausage, onion, mushroom, tomatoes, green peppers) and the Salisiccia (Italian sausage and ricotta cheese, topped with mozzarella and parmesan) are the eatery’s most popular pizzas. Daily special pizzas are often offered by the slice.
“They are all made with love, and they have to look good too,” Georgia McKenzie said. “I hate ugly, sloppy pizzas.”
As the 1,500-square-foot pizzeria sits in the same parking lot as Planet Fitness, Evan McKenzie noted that wraps and salads have been selling well. The shop offers a large variety of subs, which can also be served as wraps, including an Italian (cooked salami, Genoa salami, mortadella, provolone cheese), American (ham, salami, mortadella, American cheese) and vegetarian (provolone cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, black olives, mushrooms, pickles, hot peppers). Veal, chicken and eggplant parmesan subs are some of Pizza Market’s heartier sub options.
All Pizza Market dinners including chicken kabob (with sautéed onions, mushrooms and green peppers), cheeseburger, steak tip and gyro plates (gyro meat wrapped in pita bread with cucumber yogurt sauce) are served with salad and fries.
“Everything is big portions here,” Georgia McKenzie said. “Once people try us, they will never go anywhere else.”