Each month, the Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce spotlights a different business from our neighborhood. This month we catch up with Nick White of Roots Handmade Pizza. Located at 2200 W Lawrence Avenue, Roots is a relaxed neighborhood pizzeria specializing in Quad Cities-style pies. This year they’ll be pairing up with Dovetail Brewery for the 3rd annual Taste of Ravenswood on Friday, November 10th.
What separates Roots from the many pizza places in Chiacgo?
We are known for our Quad Cities style pizza. What really sets us apart is that we put malt in our pizza crust, so it pairs very well with our Midwest-only beer list. We’re the only place you can get a malt crust on Malt Row!
What’s the most popular item on your menu?
Our mozzarella sticks, no doubt. We take a fresh cheese curd from Wisconsin and hand-stretch it in boiling salt water.
Do you have a favorite pizza topping?
We actually got to team up with Brian Fisher over at Entente for our Chef Series pizzas this year. Crispy fried chicken, red pepper sauce and Kimchi on that one. I didn’t realize how much I’d been missing Kimchi on pizza my whole life.
Your original location is on Chicago Ave. How long have you been in Ravenswood? What’s your favorite thing about working here?
Coming up on two years on Lawrence. The people are my favorite thing, for sure. From the schools to the distilleries and everywhere in between, it’s hard to find someone you don’t like in this neighborhood.
What about Roots are you most proud of?
I’m very proud of our community events. We’ve done donation events with groups like Refugee One, One Tail At A Time, and The 100 Club of Chicago. It is always an incredible turnout and we meet so many great people.
Have you got a favorite business in the neighborhood- besides your own?
The Sixth has been a great neighbor. These guys are turning out absolute art everyday and the ice program is spectacular.
What’s the newest item on your menu that’s a must-try?
Well, I mentioned The Entente Pizza, but we also have collabs with Florentine, Furious Spoon, Lowcountry, Portsmith, and Pub Royale that will be on the menu until November 22nd.
Are there any Ravenswood businesses you’re itching to work with?
We love getting together with the breweries! Tap takeovers are a blast. I wouldn’t mind being involved in a collaboration beer either.
Aside from Malt Row, where in the ‘hood do you find yourself spending time?
The Perfect Cup is great when I step off the train in the morning.
So, you work in the world of pizza. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An Astronaut! I still hit the Adler planetarium as often as I can and highly recommend downloading the NASA App for the pictures alone.
What’s your favorite quote, and where is it from?
“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.” Teddy Roosevelt.
Do any of your employees have a surprising talent?
The talent pool is endless here, we have a semi-professional karaoke singer, an accordion player, a ventriloquist. Feel free to ask your next server that question and see what comes up.
Got a go-to karaoke song?
Salt N’ Peppa – “Shoop”
For more on Roots Handmade Pizza, visit rootspizza.com, follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and make plans to nosh some of their scratch mozzarella bites at Taste of Ravenswood on Friday, November 10th.
Roots Handmade Pizza
2200 W Lawrence Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625