Home' South Florida Gay News : SFGN 090915 Contents 24 • 9.9.2015
special section pizza
the PiZZA girls
Over the last 16 years, Pizza Girls, on
Clematis Street has been voted a Palm
Beach County favorite by readers of
New Times, Ocean Drive, and SFGN.
They’ve had tents, a trailer, and within the
last five years a food truck at local street fairs,
music events, Pride festivals and locations
like Parrot Rescue in Gumbo Limbo in Boca,
and Busch Wildlife Sanctuary in Jupiter.
When we visited, Jen was working and
greeted us “Welcome to the hottest pizza
place on Clematis,” that meant the AC was
out. It also meant we were going to need beer
to go with our slices, and we were sitting
Jennifer Morales and Phoebe Reckseit
have run Pizza Girls from the corner store
next to Sloan’s ice cream parlor since 1999,
after moving on from the family business
that brought them to Clematis in 1996.
Despite the family business being sold, they
fell in love with the waterfront location,
the South Florida lifestyle, and the pizza
business – so they set up shop.
“We love that we get to be creative and
interact with our customers,” says Reckseit,
who came from an accounting background.
The Girls offer pies like the Tribeca Burger,
a cheddar cheeseburger pizza; the Statue
of Liberty, a bacon, ricotta and mozzarella
pizza with fresh tomatoes
instead of sauce; the Village
Veggie; the Manhattan Meat;
and the Mulberry Street.
Yes, Phoebe, like most
Floridians, is from New
York. It’s also where she and
Jennifer were married back in
“After 25 years living
together and 20 years
working together, it’s really
like we’ve been married 45
years,” Reckseit jokes.
After eyeing the pies in
the window for way too
long, I went with the SoHo,
fresh tomato, artichoke
the Broadway, fresh tomato, pesto and
mozzarella. My better half had the Statue
of Liberty and the Little Italy with Italian
sausage, meatballs, mozzarella, and ricotta.
Our slices were from the Girls’ traditional
dough, but they’ve also now offer gluten-
free dough, that Morales says “takes a little
extra time and TLC” but has
been selling well. The Girls
cook their pizzas in an old
school Baker’s Pride brick
“Twenty years ago when
we started making pizza, if
you didn't have Baker's Pride
Brick ovens, people didn't
consider it being ‘real New
York pizza’,” said Morales.
“People would look to see
what type of ovens we were
using before they judged our
pizza. And being two women,
they were very skeptical to
begin with,” Morales laughs.
“Things have changed so
much in the pizza industry
now, it's amazing.”
It hasn’t just been the perceptions of them
in the pizza business that have changed
for Morales and Reckseit. It’s also been the
perceptions of them as a couple. They admit
that in the early ‘90s, the two were reluctant
to be public about their relationship. But
since then “We’ve seen the difference in
the way people perceive us, perceive gay
couples, they are much more accepting of
us,” Reckseit said.
And it’s an acceptance they also want to
share and encourage among their customers.
“We like to pride ourselves on being
open to having all types of customers be
themselves,” Morales said. “We've always
been a place where young gay kids can come
on dates and feel accepted and at home to
be themselves, a place where people aren't
gonna judge or look at them weird. They
[can] feel comfortable holding hands or
giving a peck on the cheek to their loved one.
I am most proud of that accomplishment.”
After 20 years in the business, Reckseit
and Morales say they’ve built something
multigenerational, they’ve seen their
customers grow up and come in with kids
of their own. They’re looking forward to
growing their business as well.
They fell in
love with the
and the pizza
20 years later and still growing
Pizza Girls is located on Clematis Street next to Sloan’s Ice Cream, across the street from World of Beer
and the Palm Beach Dramaworks. Visit PizzaGirls.com or call 561-833-4004 for hours and delivery.
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