October 2007

Hangin' At the Shroom

Author: Becca Dupps Edwards

Get a Slice of Happines at Mellow Mushroom

Good, gooey pizza has been a dietary staple since the beginning of time. As early as the 6th century, during the height of the Persian Empire, soldiers of Darius the Great baked dough upon their shields and covered it with cheese and dates, marching and munching mile upon glorious mile.

Today, great men (and women) continue to the savor the flavor of the slice with delicious dedication. Just ask Kim Boyce of Mellow Mushroom in Park Plaza, who celebrated the pizzeria’s five-year anniversary this past August. “It is hard to go wrong with pizza,” said Boyce. Her favorite is the feta and black olive pizza, because “it makes me happy,” she said.

Long-time employee and “Trivia Master”, Dom Hauscher

And it is easy to be happy at Mellow Mushroom, as well as healthy. “We prep fresh veggies everyday as well as cook and drain our meats so the fat content is reduced,” said Boyce. Even the seemingly sinful pizza crust rises to the health-conscious
occasion. Though Boyce will not divulge the secret of its composition, she will confess one delectable detail, “Let’s just say you would be amazed at the healthy ingredients it contains.” From artichokes to zesty jerk chicken, picky eaters can choose from an array of ingredients. “You can build your own pizza or salad any day of the week,” Boyce said. “You get to be the chef, so the possibilities are endless.”

Over the years, Mellow Mushroom has sprinkled some additions on the menu, especially the drink menu. “We have recently added a selection of high-octane beers that have been very popular with our customers,” Boyce said. “Dan Ward, a longtime employee and all around great guy, has become our resident beer expert. If you need some guidance, ask if he is in the shop; I am sure he will make a suggestion. His personal favorite is Chimay.”

In addition, Mellow Mushroom continues to gear up for sports fans and has recently added a new plasma television. Boyce credits Dom Hausher and Allie Andrejiko, two employees, for boosting this effort. “Dom and Allie are always drumming up something fun and exciting on game day. They always have great ideas with a quirky spin, which I love,” she said.

Apparently, Dom Hauser’s talent for trivia has also become a big draw for diners. According to Boyce, “Trivia Master, Dom Hausher, puts on quite a show. Patrons are encouraged to participate in various contests and customers get up sing. On a recent Wednesday evening, the Notre Dame men’s choir sang for us after their meal. We were blown away.”

It is this type of interaction with customers that makes work for Boyce more like a party. “One of the most gratifying parts of the job is celebrating life events with our customers. On any day, we may host a wedding rehearsal dinner, a birthday, anniversary or family reunion.”

Everyone’s Favorite bartender, Chase Ricker

Boyce maintains a simple philosophy that has made her business a veritable feast of success. “I have a saying from my corporate days and in resonates even stronger in the restaurant business,” she said. “If a business takes care of its employees, then the employees will take care of the customers and the customer will take care of the business’ bottom line.”

The Mellow Mushroom Crew
(from left to right: Dan Ward, Greg Bruemer, Chase Ricker, Kim Boyce, Dom Hausher, John Boyce, Allie Andrejko & Melvin Monroe)

Spoken like a true dough-slinging warrior, Boyce will continue to lead Mellow Mushroom through the ranks of restaurant greatness, making pizza history, one yummy slice at a time.

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