The Pizza Kitchen opened on South Broad Street in October 2004. Pictured are staff members Derek Flodmand, Brett Anderson, Jerome Innocenzi and Jocelyn Murphy, cook Armando Vanegas, staff member Diandra Gomez, owner and chef Edmund Kopczynski and manager-pizza maker Mark Mazzone. (Staff photo by Norine Longo.)

By Norine Longo

The Pizza Kitchen saw its start some 10 years ago when Edmund Kopczynski built a brick oven in his backyard. Co-owners and longtime friends Kopczynski and Brent Williams cooked for friends and family on Friday nights, serving and perfecting their own personal recipes. That tradition developed and culminated in the opening and operation of The Pizza Kitchen in October 2004.

Today, The Pizza Kitchen, also known as “TPK” or “The PK” to its customers, stands transformed at its home on South Broad Street. Last month, the pizzeria celebrated its fifth anniversary, dubbing November Customer Appreciation Month. The Pizza Kitchen held promotions and specials to benefit its customers.

“It’s been a huge success and we’ve been getting a great response,” said Kopczynski. “It’s always great to reward our loyal customers.” They are working with Sunnybrae Elementary School’s PTA to bring about “Pizza Week,” where 20 percent of the proceeds from the orders of customers mentioning Sunnybrae will be donated to the PTA. The promotion will run Feb. 2 through 7, 2010.

Kopczynski said the best part of operating a business in the area is knowing the members of the community and being a part of it.

“We’ve formed great relationships with our customers,” said Kopczynski. “We know them on a first-name basis and know their order before they sometimes do.”

Everything on The Pizza Kitchen’s menu is made fresh. While the menu offers a range of items from salads to desserts, the biggest selling item is their tomato pie which is primarily topped with an equal amount of tomato sauce and cheese.

They also sell packaged 12-inch plain and pepperoni tomato pies for $5 and $6. The pizzas are 90 percent cooked before they are frozen and shrinkwrapped.

“It’s a great way for our customers to get that brick oven pizzeria taste without having the brick oven,” said Kopczynski.

The Pizza Kitchen has also been developing an online presence. The pizzeria’s Web site, pizzakitchen.us, is in the process of being redesigned and will implement several new features in the coming months. Those services include the ability to order and ship their in-demand frozen pizzas anywhere in the country and online ordering, which will allow customers to order food online. TPK has even found a following on social networking sites. Recently created, their Facebook page highlights the business with videos, photos and specials. Since its creation in October, TPK has already attracted more than 100 fans and continuously updates with daily specials and coupons that one can catch only if you’re a fan or frequent visitor to the page.

TPK stays involved with several local groups, organizations and activities who are also customers of the business. Past sponsorships, donations and community involvement has been with local recreation league sports teams, PNC Bank’s Yardville Branch, CYO, Rider University and Hamilton High West and Steinert.

The Pizza Kitchen is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. On Saturdays, they are open until 10 p.m.

The Pizza Kitchen is located at 4351 S. Broad St. and offers catering, food and dining, take-out and delivery services. For more information, call (609) 581-5815.