The Pizza Cupcake is a whole other pizza experience. Michelle Jimenez-Meggiato and Andrea Meggiato have transformed the famous pizza pie into a pizza cupcake, a convenient bite-sized snack that can be enjoyed anywhere and at any time. It also makes a delicious side dish for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The signature dough, made from a blend of pan brioche and sourdough, is fluffy, savory and absolutely bursting with flavor. Inside the pillowy crust are San Marzano tomatoes (the “Rolex of canned tomatoes,” so much so that there are actually “knock-offs”) and fresh mozzarella cheese. The toppings include the Margherita with basil and oregano, zucchini, pepperoni or mushrooms.
Michelle is a first generation Filipina-American, who moved from a small town in PA to New York City for college and stayed. Andrea moved to NYC from Italy, the first in his family to immigrate to America. He worked in the food industry until deciding to take a break. But kept working his magic in the kitchen at home, and one day he created the pizza cupcake. They shared them with family and friends, then with extended family and friends of friends, until they realized they were on the road to achieving the American Dream and went into business.
Soon, Pizza Cupcakes were hitting it out of the park among the food stands at Citi Field, the NY Mets stadium, and at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn, the largest and most prestigious open-air food market in America. In addition, the Michelle and Andrea catered events for leading-edge companies, such as Buzzfeed, Instagram, Facebook, Comedy Central, and The New York Times, and for special occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries and weddings.
Things couldn’t have been going better. Andrea appeared on “Moments with Mimi,” Mariah Carey’s web series, and taught her how to make the cupcakes. Thrillist, a website that reviews food and drink, among other things, was, well, thrilled with the Pizza Cupcakes. The review was glowing.
And then the pandemic. Citi Field closed. Smorgasburg closed. Corporate employees were mostly working from home. Special occasions, while still special, were dialed way back. Undaunted, Michelle and Andrea transitioned to eCommerce, revamped their website and started home delivery in Brooklyn, Manhattan and parts of New Jersey. Now they deliver to 25 states and are on their way to national distribution. They are grateful for the online business, but are looking forward to when they can again have that one-on-one interaction with their customers.
For now, they are helping out where they can. They launched “Support NYC” to donate, with support from their customers, Pizza Cupcakes to the front line healthcare workers (first deliveries were to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and NYU Langone Health) and to non-profits like the Lower Eastside Girls Club, donating Pizza Cupcakes to 100 families of the members. Michelle and Andrea donate at least one box of cupcakes for every 24-pack sold—sharing love one bite at a time from a distance.