Take-out customers who frequent on Centreville Crest Lane are hit with the warmth of the ovens and the smell of fresh dough and bubbling mozzarella cheese as soon as they walk through the door. They enter a small shop decked out in brilliant red paint and towers of neatly stacked pizza boxes. They’re also met with a big smile and friendly welcome from store owner Matt Brick.
Brick opened his pizza shop just over two years ago, but it has already become a locally-owned business known for its exceptional customer service in addition to its food.
“Service is everything. This is funny [to say] in today’s day and age, but we try to thrive on customer service,” said Brick, who feels solid customer service across all types of businesses has become a thing of the past.
Before opening Brick’s Pizza Delivery in Centreville in April 2009, Brick worked for one of the “Big Three” pizza chains — Domino’s, Papa John’s, and Pizza Hut — for 15 years, including 12 as a manager. He was looking to go franchise, but his younger brother Jeff, who created Brick’s Pizza Delivery in Arlington in 2002, suggested Matt open up his own pizza joint in Centreville.
“I decided, why not?” said Brick.
Though the Arlington and Centreville locations are linked by the Brick brothers’ entrepreneurial spirit, the two operate as independent business entities rather than from the beginnings of a new pizza chain.
Starting a restaurant, let alone keeping it afloat, is no simple undertaking in this economy. But Brick believes his company’s combination of genuine customer care and quality food products have been the driving force in establishing a client base.
Brick said that the number one factor that separates Brick’s Pizza from competitors is the product. “I use a great product,” he said. “Everything down the line is better, fresher.”
A key ingredient that makes Brick’s Pizza stand out is the sauce, a traditional Brick family recipe. “We make our own sauce,” Brick said. “It’s not generic.”
He cites The Virginian, topped with pepperoni, mushrooms, Italian sausage, green peppers and onions as a customer favorite. Brick likes to keep it simple; his preferred menu item is the classic Margherita with fresh basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. He’s currently conjuring up ideas for a new specialty pizza to be named The Centreville.
It seems in order for Brick to name a pizza after the town his business serves and supports. “Community involvement is huge; that’s something we do a lot of,” he said.
In February Brick at Lake Anne in Reston, where he plunged into the ice cold water in a Speedo to support Camp Sunshine in Maine. Earlier this month, Brick’s Pizza donated food for the midnight pizza party at at . Brick believes community involvement is especially important for local businesses and will continue to support local schools and organizations.
Brick’s Pizza is not a dine-in restaurant, but that’s what allows the business to focus on its principal goal: to deliver fresh, delicious pizza to your door. Brick’s is also committed to delivering your pizza on time.
Brick delivers to customers within a roughly 3 mile radius of the shop, and he usually does so in 30 minutes. He says that a 45+ minute wait has become the norm for today’s pizza chains, which he calls “unacceptable.”
“When [the customers] order, I want them to know they’re getting their pizza delivered in a reasonable time, when we tell them it’s gonna be there, no hassle,” Brick said.
And on the rare occasion that a Brick’s customer has to wait longer than 45 minutes to receive his or her food, Brick automatically sends him or her a gift certificate as part of his customer care philosophy.
Brick’s Pizza’s most popular specials include a large one-topping pizza for $7.99 (take-out only) and a "Buy one large pizza, get one free" deal on Tuesdays.
Click here for details.