CHICAGO—January 31, 2023 – The Chicago Food Stop, 875 N. Michigan, the newest pop-up experience hosted by the City of Chicago, The Magnificent Mile Association, and World Business Chicago, will celebrate National Pizza Day in a big way on Thursday, February 9th. The public is invited to enjoy a variety of fun and delicious activities for Chicago pizza lovers:
From 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., be one of the first 500 attendees to receive a free individual-sized pizza from Home Run Inn, one of the oldest family-owned pizza brands in the city.
From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., check out a pizza-themed photo exhibit curated by Chicago photographer Minha and get a free caricature drawing of yourself as a slice of pizza by Chicago artist Roger Hurtado.
At 5 p.m., nationally known pizza expert Steve Dolinsky will host a panel discussion featuring some of Chicago’s most iconic pizza makers, including Dan Costello of Home Run Inn; Rich Aronson of My Pi Pizza; Dave Howey of Nancy’s Pizza; and Rose Barraco of Vito & Nick’s Pizzeria. Learn the secrets behind these pizzerias’ longevity and success in Chicago. This is a ticketed event, with free registration managed via Eventbrite. If you can’t join in person, visit @ChicagoFoodStop beginning at 4 p.m. for livestream link.
Chicago has a long history of being a leader in food manufacturing and innovation, including producing the most pizza-related ingredients of any U.S. city. From its famous deep-dish pizza to stuffed, tavern-style thin crust, and party cut—Chicago offers a wide variety of pizza styles that have become beloved all over the world.
“Chicago’s legacy as the nation’s hub for food and agricultural manufacturing and innovation continues, with both established companies and new startups driving the future,” said Michael Fassnacht, President & CEO of World Business Chicago, Chief Marketing Officer of the City of Chicago. “For more than three decades, the Chicago region has been a leader in food manufacturing, including in the pizza industry, with its Chicago-style pizza and locally founded pizza restaurants evolving into successful national chains and beloved frozen food options. On National Pizza Day, we celebrate and pay homage to the Chicago region’s rich history of pizza and its thriving food manufacturing network.”
According to the World Business Chicago Research Center, Chicago is the number one metro area for food manufacturing in the U.S., with $8.8 billion in GDP in 2022, a growth of $2.2 billion over the past five years. “Chicago has been ranked the number one metro for food manufacturing since 1994,” said Robin Ficke, VP, Research, World Business Chicago. “Adding up all of the pizza-relevant subsectors, Chicago is number one, with a total of $7.6 billion in food manufacturing subsectors that are relevant to pizza.” In May 2022, Ficke and World Business Chicago Research Center team authored a report on Innovation in Chicago’s Food Industry.
“We are thrilled to celebrate Chicago’s long history of pizza making,” said Dan Costello, Home Run Inn CEO, and fourth-generation family member. “Home Run Inn was proud to celebrate its 75th anniversary last year in partnership with the City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) by donating and distributing 10,000 pizzas throughout the year to feed Chicagoans in need.”
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About the Chicago Food Stop:The Chicago Food Stop is a one-of-a-kind pop-up experience brought to you by the City of Chicago, Magnificent Mile Association, and World Business Chicago. Funded by COVID-19 recovery dollars, this initiative is transforming vacant retail spaces on the Mag Mile into exciting, experiential offerings, spotlighting neighborhood small businesses. The food stop pop-up features a Farmer’s Fridge, a specially commissioned exhibit from the Chicago History Museum, and a curated selection of neighborhood-based businesses, handpicked by Here Here Market, Choose Chicago’s Neighborhood Program, and the Greater Chatham Initiative. Many of the showcased small businesses are owned by diverse, underrepresented founders, who bring unique perspectives and delicious flavors to the table. This pop-up celebrates the city’s reputation as the #1 U.S. city for food innovation and its commitment to promoting diversity and inclusivity. The Chicago Food Stop is open Wednesday through Sunday, hosting special programming, including National Pizza Day on February 9th, the history of the Union Stockyards on February 23, and the city’s 186th birthday on March 4th. Follow @ChicagoFoodStop for updates and invites to upcoming special events. For general information including photos of the space, visit worldbusinesschicago.com/Chicago-food-stop.
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