Detroit-style pizza turned a Detroit, Michigan blind pig owner into a burgeoning popular legit businessman.
It was 1936 in the Motor City, a city built on automobile manufacturing. Kids played in the streets, women gossiped over the clotheslines, and hard workingmen went to build the cars. Once the kids were tucked in bed, everyone meandered down the block to the corner gathering spot. One corner in particular, Six Mile Road and Conant Avenue, the gathering spot was known as Buddy’s. The owner of Buddy’s, Gus Guerra, served alcohol; skirting the laws that governed the on-site sale and consumption of the spirits. In 1944, however, Gus finally turned his spot into a legitimate tavern.
Due to World War II, however, the sale of libations didn’t help fight off the taxman. In 1946, Gus decided to add a Sicilian style pizza to his menu. Sicilian in style, yes, but with a little extra secret Gus concocted to create the Detroit-style deep-dish pizza. The legend was born.
In 1953, Gus sold his now famous spot and the secret pizza recipe to Jimmy Valenti and Jimmy Bonacorse. Shirlee and Billy Jacobs visited Buddy’s in 1970 and fell in love with the pizza. They loved it so much; they purchased Buddy’s from the two Jimmies.
It’s been over sixty years since Gus first introduced his famous Buddy’s pizza to Detroit and the world. Shirlee and Billy Jacobs’ son, Robert, runs the multi-location operation today. With stores throughout metropolitan Detroit and its suburbs, Buddy’s Pizza is a Detroit institution.
Voted as Detroit’s best pizza, year after year, Buddy’s shows no signs of slowing down. Bob Talbert, former Detroit Free Press columnist wrote: Is Buddy’s the best pizza? It sure is, because it is the one all the others are compared to.
On his web blog, The Great White Bear, Mark Spurrier has this to say, the perfect Detroit pizza features a thick crust, crispy on the outside and bottom, soft and tender on the inside. A thick, rich sauce is topped with mozzarella cheese, which, because it’s baked on a high sided sheet, gets golden brown and crispy along the edges. A true Detroit pizza is as close as you will ever come to Heaven on Earth.