“I’m not sure what’s with these other clowns who are using artificial cheeses and shrinking the sizes of their pizzas to save some money,” Culp said. “That takes away from the quality of the pizza, and I won’t have it.”
Culp, who opened the new Brentwood restaurant with wife Cindi in January, said they offer quality by making their own dough and sauces and offering pizzas that are larger than the competition.
While the average pizza place considers a large pizza to be 14 inches, a medium pizza at CK Pizzeria is 16 inches. A large is 18 inches, and while it is larger than what you’ll find at other places, it doesn’t cost more.
“Our sizes are at least one size larger than everyone else’s, but the price is the same or lower,” said Cindi. “Our large pizza with one topping is just under $17. You can’t beat that. Plus, we offer free delivery.”
The other thing that sets CK Pizzeria apart from other pizza joints in town is that it sells pizza by the slice, an ideal arrangement for customers down the street at Adams Middle School and Heritage High School.
“I get pizzas ready to go at about a quarter to three because I know they’re coming,” Cindi said. “It’s weird. From three to four, we are so busy. We have a flood of kids come through, but they’re all gone within an hour.”
Ken said they average about 75 students during that period, but he and Cindi have hit a rhythm so they know how to handle the masses. “It can get a little crazy, but these are good kids. We haven’t had any problems. They’re all pretty well behaved.”
To entice the younger crowd to stick around, Cindi said CK’s will begin hosting Guitar Hero competitions on Tuesday nights later this year. Customers will be able to face off and strut their video game stuff in order to win a free small pizza.
While slices of pepperoni win over the after-school crowd, it’s the specialty pizzas that are creating a buzz among other customers.
CK Pizzeria offers 10 specialty pies that Ken and Cindi, with the help of their grandchildren, created themselves. Cindi said the Greek Goddess, a pizza topped with Italian chicken, mushrooms, zucchini and artichoke hearts over a bed of pesto sauce, has become a favorite.
Another popular item is called The Beast, which comes with pepperoni, sausage, salami, olives and sweet zesty beef. The beef is coated with brown sugar to meld sweet, spicy and savory into one sensational flavor.
CK Pizzeria offers standards such as garden salads, bread sticks and chicken wings – and a not-so-standard nacho cheese dispenser adjacent to the soda machine.
“We’ve got nachos, too,” Ken said. “We know the kids like them, and since we’re close to the park, we figure it’ll be popular during the summer when you’ve got kids out there playing sports.”
Following that train of thought, Ken and Cindi hope to get a soft-serve ice cream machine installed by summer to offer a cool treat to families who visit Balfour Guthrie Park.
They also plan to offer fundraising cards to local sports teams to help sponsor young athletes. Participants will be able to buy the cards for $2 each and sell them for $10 to take in an $8 profit.
“We want to support local teams,” Cindi said. “We’ve already got some things going with the high school, but we want to reach out to the community.”
CK Pizzeria, located at 380 W. Country Club Drive in Brentwood, is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. For more information, call 925-513-7474.