Ask anyone in Ellenbrook where to get great gourmet pizza, and they’ll usually tell you that our local Crust Pizza shop is the place to go.
But pizza is not the only thing on the menu. Fundraising for local charities is also one of this pizza shop’s specialities. The restaurant has developed a reputation throughout the community for their service to those most in need – from pledging a portion of their Christmas earnings to The Salvation Army to raising money for a local family.
We sat down with Crust’s owner, Garry, to talk about pizza, Ellenbrook, and serving the community.
Crust Pizza is a prominent landmark in Ellenbrook, how long have you been established?
We opened on 1 May 2014, so we are celebrating our sixth birthday in 2020.
Congratulations and happy anniversary! How did you come to open Crust, had you always been in the restaurant industry?
No actually my background was in finance and engineering, so it was completely different. But my passion was always food, and especially pizza. I had always loved Crust, so when the opportunity came to open one in Ellenbrook I didn’t think twice. Luckily for me, it’s been a great decision.
Who doesn’t love pizza? Is there a pizza that has consistently been the most popular over that time?
Yes, there has. No question about it, the Meat Deluxe is still the most popular. Customers love the BBQ sauce and the meat topping!
Do you have a signature pizza or a personal favourite that customers can’t get anywhere else?
For me, our Pesto Chicken Club is totally unique. It comes with chicken, onion, tomato, prosciutto – and mozzarella of course! And then we top it with rocket, avocado and pesto aioli. For me, it’s the best.
That sounds delicious. So what makes Crust Pizza Ellenbrook different from other local pizza restaurants?
We do gourmet pizza. And, at Crust, it is all about quality.
What’s the craziest order someone has made?
Someone once ordered a Meat Deluxe, but with twice the amount of toppings on the one crust. It looked more like a cake than a pizza!
What's my home worth?
What is your busiest night of the week?
Without a doubt, Friday is always our busiest night. There is a great buzz around the dinner rush time on a Friday. We have about twice the amount of staff on than we do other nights – both shop staff and drivers – and we have loads of deliveries. It’s about answering phones and making sure those pizzas get out quickly to customers’ homes in the neighborhood to enjoy, so they’re just as hot as they would be if they came into the store!
Crust is well known for the events you throw. Tell us about some of the best you’ve hosted.
We do Crust Halloween Night every year. I think that’s my favourite night of the year. We give free pizza to kids in costumes. It’s great to see kids in costumes eating pizza. We actually do around 400-500 free pizzas for kids every year.
That’s amazing. Is that what you enjoy most about Ellenbrook, the focus on family in the community?
Yes, Ellenbrook is very family-oriented. We are a growing community but the people here are extremely friendly and helpful.
You’re very active in the community with fundraising. Tell us about some of the community events and fundraisers you’ve been involved in?
We have done a few events with local schools, but I think our best fundraiser was last year’s Halloween. We raised money for a local child suffering with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. As I said, we usually give free pizzas away for Halloween, but last year we asked for a $2 donation per pizza and gave all the proceeds away to his family, to help them afford the wheelchair accessible vehicle they need. We raised over $1,300 dollars.
That’s wonderful. Why do you think it is important for local businesses to be active in the community?
I feel that as a local business, we are a deeply entrenched part of the community. We employ local people, and I also live in the area. I moved to Ellenbrook in late 2014, about six months after we opened, so I could be closer to the shop. Ellenbrook is a great place to live. It’s safe and peaceful, and it also has everything you need. It’s close to the beach and Swann Valley is a short drive. In the end, it is about supporting the community that supports you.