Home Slice Pizza was created by three great friends -- married couple Jen and Joseph Strickland and partner Terri Hannifin -- with a passion for food and entertaining and a vision for an Austin institution based on the original, unfailing goodness of authentic NY-style pizza. No compromise.
The Stricklands began to work on the concept for Home Slice back in 2001-2, when layoffs were abundant in Austin and career changes seemed wise. Jen came up with name and the recipes--even going so far as to install stone tiles in her own conventional oven at home so that she could perfect the pizza-making process--while Joseph versed himself in spreadsheets and business plans. Together they bent the ear of anyone who would listen, including Jen’s college roommate at NYU, Terri, a restaurant expert who offered much sage advice to the pair.
Living in South Austin gave the couple a front row seat as South Congress blossomed into a bustling strip, which seemed like the perfect locale for Home Slice. So when the opportunity presented itself in the Fall of 2004, they grabbed a location and recruited Terri (along with her dog Satchi) to move to Austin and the three went to work growing Home Slice from dream to reality.
After a whirlwind year of construction, hiring, fine-tuning, and a lot of therapy, the restaurant opened for business November 16, 2005.
As former food editor of the Austin Chronicle and former editor of the Texas Monthly website, Jen Scoville Strickland has over a decade of experience covering the Austin restaurant scene. Jen also hails from a family of small business owners in upstate New York. (If you had stopped in the little town of Geneseo, NY in the last few decades, you would have, at various times, seen the Scoville name on top of buildings on Main Street, and atop the balance sheets of local pizzerias, drive-in movie theatres, and sub shops.) While her Italian-American background forms the basis of her passion for great pizza, it was her four years putting away slices in New York City while attending college at NYU that truly inspired her.
Owning a restaurant was the last thing Joseph Strickland ever saw himself doing. A Houston native, he attended Southwestern University in Georgetown, graduating in 1993 with a degree in English and a desire to be a writer. Immediately upon completing college, he spent six months in Jackson Hole, WY living in a tent, writing stories on the typewriter at the public library by day, and working as a line cook at night. Upon his return to Austin, he landed a temp job at IBM, which evolved into a 10 year career in the technology industry as a programmer, project manager, and at one point, manager of a team of consultants.
No matter what he was doing to pay the rent, he was always entrepreneurial at heart: in 1997 he co-founded Bozo Texano Productions, which produced the award-winning documentary, Searching for Tony Joe. When the startup he worked for went belly up in 2002, he thought long and hard about what to do next. His brief experience in the restaurant business always stayed with him: it was the most fun job he’d ever had. And with that, coupled with inspiration drawn from his wife’s recipes, he went to work on the Home Slice business plan. Now that Home Slice has become a reality, he draws daily inspiration from the customers and employees of the place and sees that running a business like Home Slice isn’t all that different from any all consuming artistic endeavor; it simply requires dedication, creativity, humility, and of course a sense of humor.
Originally from Denver, Terri Hannifin caught the restaurant “bug” at 15 when she was hired at Big D’s Burgers and was quickly promoted from counter girl to the coveted French fry position. There she discovered the art of making people happy with great food and friendly service, (not to mention the beauty of a walk-in refrigerator). Her love affair with the passion and dedication it takes to succeed in the business spawned a 15-year career managing, opening, and consulting for restaurants. Before opening Home Slice, Terri served as director of operations for the infamous Wynkoop Group in Denver, and also opened and managed one of the city’s best loved spots--The Fourth Story Restaurant and Bar above the Landmark Tattered Cover Bookstore.
Terri's motivation in opening Home Slice was threefold: one; to work with her two best friends who share the same unconventional business theories, two; to create a fun neighborhood joint where people could get an awesome N.Y. Style pizza, and three; to hopefully create a sustainable business that can support all the creative ventures that she, her partners, or any of the employees may be inspired to pursue. Life is too short to not enjoy what one does--hence Home Slice--her proudest collaboration yet!
Humbly, but with great joy, we bring you Home Slice Pizza.
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