Up for Air
Gasp! It’s June already!
Doesn’t a Geppetto’s Deep Dish Pizza sound delicious?
We’ve got great news. We are open again on Tuesdays! Google doesn’t seem to want to approve the update in our hours. Sorry for any confusion. We are open again, seven days a week! Our opening hours will remain the same, 11:30am. Our closing hours are still somewhat flexible based on busyness, 7:30-8:30pm or 9 depending on the day of the week and the amount of business.
This crawling out of Covid season is proving to be as difficult as the hardest days. With the rise of food, labor and fuel costs… and staffing shortages… we are yet again having to dig deeper and be even more practical and creative to survive financially. We probably should… but have not increased our food prices. We want our traditional dine in experience to remain a reasonably affordable treat for our guests. A recent upgrade to our point of sale system brought a thorough examination of our expenses. Through the process we realized a huge loss of revenue in exchange for the convenience of accepting bank and credit cards as forms of payment.
Here’s the hard news. We have realized the need to recover the 3.5 percent we lose every time we swipe a card.
Some general math on this; This might amount to pennies to an individual customer… or it may come out to a few dollars… depending on the size of your order. At Geppetto’s each of these little amounts add up to big numbers. Case in point… we lose an average of $20,000 each year to credit and debit card processing.
We are going to give this new process a try and see how the bottom line improves. We apologize for any inconvenience and hope you will understand. Our will to survive is strong and we are willing to make the difficult, less popular decisions to remain solvent. We will continue to keep our prices as low as we can. We will continue to accept card payments and pray that you will understand the credit card charge is bigger than it seems.
On a much lighter note… we have a mystery. Random days… but several times a week someone is leaving half eaten banana on the garbage can out front of the restaurant. We are not sure which direction the person came from or where they are headed. Not sure either if they think someone will eat the other half… or perhaps they are watching to see who helps the banana over the side and into the trash. What kills me… is the fact that I am seriously considering a search through security camera footage to answer the burning question. Who is the banana leaver and who doesn’t eat a whole banana?
Happy Mother’s Day from Geppetto’s Mother Ship!
We will be open today 11:30am-8:30pm. Check out our yummy specials including our house made Créme Brûlée! - $10.25 Our pizza of the month is… Esther’s Taco Pizza, $26.95LG - $21.95MED - $17.95SM.
We are not taking reservations today. Come on out for dine in or call for takeout and delivery 503.378.1271.
Make it a great day!
A Night to Remember
Last Saturday night Geppetto’s had the pleasure of serving plated dinners to over 100 attendees at the Saint Joseph School Auction.
Shout out to Angela Badgett, a Saint Joseph School parent volunteer, for thinking of us, for calling and pushing me a to accept the challenge. The order was pretty tall but Chef Frank Primley knew what he was doing as far as the food was concerned (which was delicious btw) and as promised, Angela was there to help with plating and dinner service.
Student volunteers delivered the salads and entrées to the gym and according to one cutie, “The people are raving about the food!”
As the dishes were cleared by servers… and returned to the kitchen… they began to mount. I realized pretty quickly I had not thought through to the finish line of the night. Suddenly I knew… I would not be leaving that event until the last table was completely cleared. The plates and flatware were rented by the school but the dressing and butter cups as well as serving spoons were ours. I was definitely going to be there till the end. There would be no other way to guarantee I had retrieved all of our wares.
As the student parade of dirty dishes continued… it hit me… there was no one to start the washing process but me. The adults were all at the event and rightfully so. Their job that night was to be together in community celebrating, spending lots of money in support of a worthy cause.
I asked Chef Frank to show me how to run the dishwasher before he left and my quest for completion commenced.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Without verbalizing a cry for help… an eighth grader named Isabel appeared at my side. She was tall and smart and driven. I could tell.
“Don’t worry. She said. We’ve got this and I’m not leaving you.”
Isabel’s parents and a Saint Joe’s education have obviously done an amazing job of teaching her the importance of service, responsibility, hard work, respect for others and perseverance. She and I worked side by side sorting and rinsing, racking and washing while other students scraped plates and laughed about how gross it was.
As Isabel and I worked we chatted. I asked her about school and her family… and what she wanted to be when she grows up. “A Neurosurgeon, she said… and if not that then an author.”
I thought to myself… I’m an author… but Isabel didn’t need to know that. This night… I was the dishwasher and Isabel helped to make that the best job ever. We worked until her ride had to leave and parents returned to the kitchen after the event had ended.
Finally, Geppetto’s last spoon and dish accounted for I was free to go. What seemed like a nightmare at first turned into a night to remember for all the right reasons.
We are all here to serve. I predict Isabel will help many people in her life. If being a neurosurgeon is what she is meant to be I pray she will sail through the process unencumbered, celebrated as an incredibly intelligent woman, respected and appreciated.
Perhaps one day Isabel will write a book… which inspires others to serve. Wouldn’t that be something?
Out of This World - Tuscany Meets Sicily
Geppetto’s meatballs are delicious. A recent five star Google review backs me up on this.
When Roger and I came onboard in 2017 Geppetto’s meatballs came from a purveyor of foods. They were shipped frozen, ready to heat and eat!
One weekend evening, early in ownership, there was a hubbub in the kitchen. Murmuring translated revealed a shortage of meatballs and concern that the purveyor would not be back to bring more for days.
Having never had the opportunity or desire to try the meatballs at Geppetto’s… I did that night. One bite said it all. Blech!
The sauce was delicious but I knew immediately that which was called a “meatball” was not. What I experienced was more like a spongy nugget made, I’m pretty sure, with mostly fillers, some spices and perhaps a bit beef. Blech!
I thought. Why can’t we make our own meatballs?
The next morning I called my friend, Kelly, who lives outside Boston. I told her about our meatball situation and begged for help with her Sicilian grandmothers recipe.
Kelly, I said. A little bit of this and a little bit of that has been fine at home… but now I need to multiply your family recipe by 40 and have the ability to offer these meatballs daily.
After my friend and I did some math… Roger and I dove right in and made our first batch.
Four hundred and twenty five Geppetto’s meatballs were born that day. I soon realized they could easily be made with gluten free breadcrumbs with no change in food quality. Suddenly… we not only had yummy house made meatballs to offer… but a really awesome gluten free option too!
True… it’s way more work than receiving frozen goods and heating… but you sure can taste the love. Sometimes the extra mile makes all the difference.
Also true is the fact that any good Italian family has their very own… “best meatball recipe in all the world!” I respect that completely. My heritage is not at all Italian… I am French and Irish, Czech, Bohemian, Swedish and Dutch. I had to reach east to Massachusetts for the recipe for the best meatball I’d ever tasted. The generosity of my friend brought her grandmother’s recipe to the Willamette Valley… all they way from Sicily. Geppetto’s Tuscany met Sicily by way of Salem.
Thank you, Will, for your review!
“The meatball was on point it was out of this world.”
Dine in or call for #TakeOutDelivery 503.378.1271. We are still closed Tuesdays… currently building the team to get back to seven days a week!
A Case for Heaven - Date Night!
Rare moments are they when Roger and I take time to indulge.
Happy to be together and away from work… we watched the trailers and munched on a fresh popped bucket of movie corn. My side gets salt. His side does not.
When the trailers began to repeat themselves for the third time and our popcorn was half gone a crew member appeared. The woman kindly told us the movie was broken and would not be playing.
“So sorry.” She said. “You can pick up free passes or get a refund on your way out.”
We will try another day.
Meanwhile I realize…
We have been training… in terms of disappointment… for some time now. So much so that the word and it’s meaning have kind of left my vocabulary.
Not what we thought our night would be?
No matter… we hold hands and keep walking. We roll on… knowing, trusting that what we have had is enough… and something better for us is on its way.
Our time away from the restaurant was simply perfect… and my half of the popcorn was too.
While we didn’t get to see A Case for Heaven that night… one was found in the Flan at La Vida Catrina Kitchen of Mexico.
I’m telling you… Oscar and Isabel know what they are doing… and they are doing it for all the right reasons. You can taste the passion and the love.
If you haven’t been there… go and enjoy! If you’ve been there you know what I’m taking about!
From Puebla with Love!
Incredibly fresh and flavorful food is coming forth from this kitchen. You can absolutely taste the passion.
They had me at the chips and salsa. The fresh agave and lime margarita was like dessert! Everything in between… just about put me over the edge; the fresh Spinach Enchilada, the Chicken Quesadilla, a mix of crisp spinach and greens add fresh white corn, red onion and cherry tomatoes with that magic potion on top (a.k.a. their house made Apple Vinaigrette Dressing). Literally everything was delicious.
If you want authentic Mexican food pleasing to the palate… this is definitely one of the top places to call or be in Salem.
Oscar and Isabel La Vida Catrina kitchen of mexico have worked tirelessly. Like us, they have managed to survive the last two years of difficulty. I applaud their efforts and their unwillingness to sacrifice food quality in spite of rising costs. It is obvious they use only the best and freshest of ingredients.
We had heard great things and finally made it there today for lunch. (An unforeseen benefit to our Tuesday/lack of staffing closure).
I encourage all to share this culinary experience with family and friends… or perhaps a date. The food and service will not disappoint.
My mind is blown.
Perhaps no secret but Isabel speaks great English and loves to practice. We traded a little. I practiced my Spanish. She practiced her English. I would be happy to spend more time together… for together we learn.
¡De Puebla con Cariño!
From Puebla with Love!
Call to order (503) 339-7297
Support local business. #SupportSmallBusiness #supportlocal
They are open till 9:00 tonight!
It’s Three Cheese Manicotti Monday!
Geppetto's Food Trailer can be found today at Capitol Chevrolet, 2855 Maple Ave NE, Salem, 11-3. Pick your pasta. Pick your sauce. Add protein. Add a Salad! Quick and yummy!
Today’s Trailer Special - $10 for three crepe style pasta rolls filled with our our delicious house made manicotti mix and topped with Geppetto’s marinara!
Bless you and your week!
Fresh Heirloom Tomato soup (oregons.own.tomatoes) with Geppetto’s hot fresh Focaccia Mozzarella bread or a salad.
Deeelicious and nutritious… the soup is vegan… the salad too… the Mozzarella bread… not so much - $8.95.
Join us for dine-in or call for takeout and delivery, all of Salem and Keizer! 503.378.1271
Blessings to you all this beautiful weekend!
Geppetto's food trailer can be found Mondays and Fridays at Capital Auto Group, 2855 Maple Ave NE in Salem, 11-3. Geppetto's food trailer can be found Mondays and Fridays at Capitol Chevrolet Auto Group, 2855 Maple Ave NE in Salem, 11-3.
Soup & Salad
A Bowl of Geppetto’s
house made, hot & fresh
Heirloom Tomato Soup (vegan)
& Salad Served with your choice
(Creamy Garlic, Italian,
Caesar or Ranch)
Giving credit where credit is due; Oregon's Owngrew the Heirloom tomatoes. (Growing news… they have fresh picked Hydropnically grown tomatoes every week!)
Credit continues… I prepped and simmered the tomatoes down… Chef Frank constructed the soup. Chef Alonzo Santana plated and took the photo! Thank you to all!
An Adorable Cake and a Happy Birthday!
I entered a raffle last week. Not just any raffle… but a raffle at Michelle Ashley Custom Cakes. I was a first time raffler there and was surprised to hear… I won!
I arrived at the cake shop just before closing on Sunday to retrieve my coveted prize; a Michelle Ashley custom cake, a chocolate raspberry, pretty in pink, ridiculously cute llama cake.
The gals working at the counter at the shop were adorable too. They were happy to award my prize of decadence and also ready to lock up and head for home.
After our photo opp… I left the store. I returned to my car and quickly realized I had left my keys on the counter next to the cash register. I ran back to the door… cake in hand… hoping I wouldn’t trip and fall. I peered through the locked door… as the women inside moved toward the exit at the back of the store. I frantically knocked on the front door window. To my relief… they heard my pounding and I was able to retrieve my keys and drive away, off to my next event!
Of course I knew I would be sharing my bounty and couldn’t wait for Monday when Brandon Coston would arrive at work.
Today, Monday, is Brandon’s birthday. He’s 24 now and I thank God for him. I thank God for his parents too… who have done such an amazing job raising a wonderful young man, who is a great human, a dedicated Geppetto's team member with an incredible work ethic.
Hearing we were short staffed (and now closed on Tuesdays) inspired Brandon to offer more of his help at Geppetto’s.
Reality is… we have turned operations on their head. We’re switching things up all over the place. We are considering his offer sincerely. Perhaps more hours for Brandon will come.
Truth is… Brandon makes beautiful pizza for himself and for his coworker, Dorothy, every “Teamwork Tuesday” now. I swear… if we could convince him to make pizza the way Geppetto’s makes pizza… he’d likely be the most efficient, productive, consistent pizza maker ever. For now he is doing a great job; bathroom cleaning, dusting, vacuuming and plastic utensil wrapping. A while back we added making spice bags to Brandon’s list of responsibilities. I knew he would be great at that. Without a doubt those measurements will be the same every… single… time.
Brandon made it clear this morning he would not be eating my prize, the llama cake, but said he was willing to pose for a picture with it.
“Oh WOW” Brandon said, as he gazed upon Michelle Ashley’s culinary artwork.
“Oh WOW” is high praise from Brandon. High praise also when someone is willing to pose for a photo with a cake they know they won’t eat… on their birthday. That, to me, is a testament to the chef, the love and the kitchen at Michelle Ashley.
It was an adorable cake and a very happy birthday. Thank you, Michelle Ashley at Michelle Ashley Custom Cakes! Your hard work brings great joy. Thank you, again!