Streets of New York CEO looks back on four decades in the pizza business


The streets of New York celebrates a milestone, and President and CEO Lorrie Glaeser couldn’t be prouder.

“Forty-five years in this industry is, from what I understand, a remarkable story in the sense that I am still a private catering company. I have no investors and I am fully involved in the family, ”says Glaeser.

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Lorrie Glaeser is the President and CEO of Streets of New York.

The streets of New York

Glaeser is all about food and family. That’s all she’s known since moving to Arizona from New York City with her late husband Bernd and opening the first neighborhood pizzeria location at 32nd Street and Cactus Road in 1976. Today there are 16 storefronts in the Valley, one in Prescott and another in Nevada.

“Family businesses can be a nightmare sometimes, and family businesses can be superstars, and I think we’ve become the superstars in this industry, which is very difficult,” says Glaeser.

When they were little, his kids would sit at a table in the restaurant after school, eat a slice of pizza, and watch Glaeser at work. Now they and their spouses work for Streets of New York, with a few grandchildren.

“I take this as a strong testament to the conviction of who we are,” says Glaeser. “My daughter-in-law is involved, my son-in-law has been involved in the business for 30 years. Everyone was an integral part of the work for Streets and had a very important role.

Glaeser’s also considers the family of its staff. Several of its 380 employees have been with it for over 30 years.

“If I didn’t have the staff I have, from my head office to my restaurant managers, my cooks in my kitchen and my employees who run my dining room, this business wouldn’t be the same without the loyalty, ”says Glaeser. “And not just with my own family. I have many loyal managers who have their own families involved. [with the company]. ”

Glaeser appreciates his passionate customers who flock to the many Streets of New York stores across the state (and one in Nevada). To honor them and commemorate the 45 years of the company, a prize is awarded every day on social networks until November 24.

“We don’t forget the first responders either,” Glaeser said. “They could be our firefighters, police and hospital workers, so we deliver food to them as a thank you for being there for this whole community. [during the pandemic].

Click to enlarge A classic Streets of New York pepperoni pizza.  - STREETS OF NEW YORK

A classic Streets of New York pepperoni pizza.

The streets of New York

It’s been almost two years for restaurants, she says. Glaeser sits on the Arizona Restaurant Association’s board of directors and says talking with other owners about their issues makes him feel comfortable.

“We all share the same conversations, we all share the product shortage, and today’s workforce is totally different from what we’ve known before,” Glaeser said. “I’m not alone on an island. I have a support system that’s wonderful during these times, and then all of us, collectively, are trying to problem-solve or share, ‘What are you doing right now in this particular situation? ‘ He has tremendous value. ”

There have been a few bright spots over the past year. Streets of New York now has a partnership with all of the state’s major sports teams, starting with the Arizona Diamondbacks 10 years ago, followed by the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Coyotes, Arizona Rattlers and Phoenix Mercury. This is the first full year in partnership with the Arizona Cardinals.

“With me being probably the least athletic person, I’m thrown into that realm with them all the time, and I love that,” Glaeser said.

You’d think all of this would keep Glaeser busy, but she always finds time to give back as a community partner with Vitalant, a non-profit organization that collects blood from volunteer donors for those in need. Over the years, Streets of New York has handed out plenty of free pizzas to donors willing to part with a pint of blood.

And Glaeser is a constant presence in the kitchen – after all, she is the main taster. Glaeser says the process for creating his famous marinara sauce is the same from the start. It’s about combining simple and fresh ingredients to develop as much flavor as possible.

“My goal and mission in life is to present customers with the best of my palette and what I think they would appreciate on the plate,” she says. “It’s fun. And I don’t have a chef’s hat, but I could definitely wear one.”

Glaeser not only creates and tests all of her recipes, but also manages the financial and marketing aspects of the business.

Click to enlarge Streets of New York has lasagna and antipasti on the menu.  - STREETS OF NEW YORK

Streets of New York has lasagna and antipasti on the menu.

The streets of New York

“In the end, I come home with a lot of satisfaction, because I think I wear these hats quite well,” says Glaeser.

She says being a woman in the male-dominated food and restaurant industry gives her a sense of pride and certainly doesn’t hold her back.

“I work and I work hard,” says Glaeser. “I think being a woman adds a new approach. There’s another way of thinking, there’s another discussion, or a way a discussion can be, so I think I bonded well with all of my. peers. I think I have bonded well with all of the people and business entities so the only thing I can say is that I just became 100 percent successful for myself. ”

She enjoys being a mother figure at work (literally for her children and grandchildren and a surrogate for her other employees) and is never too busy if someone needs her.

“Call them up and watch them if they’re sick, make sure that that little extra something happens, that they don’t get lost, that they’re appreciated, that they’re adored by me,” says Glaeser. . “They know full well that in a moment if they need me, I’ll be there – that’s what we need to do, right?”

In the end, it all comes down to the family.

“I just try to be attentive, appreciate and always be grateful throughout my career,” Glaeser said. “I am proud of my business, but I am more proud of the contributions of my family and my employees who have also come a long way with Streets.”

Another 45 years of activity, Streets of New York.

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