Today, Cheese To Please is Wilmette's oldest pizza restaurant. Here is how it all began.....
What started as a part time college job at the University of Illinois in 1973 at Garcia's pizza has turned into a 20 year love affair for me to keep the wonderful people of the North Shore fed with great pizza.
It started when I was eating pizza, literally, every night in college. I decided that I might as well work at my favorite pizza place so that I could get a discount on the pizza. After a semester of delivering pizzas, I became an assistant manager of the restaurant. Ralph and Joe (The Flying Tomato Brothers) were great mentors and not only did I learn the ins and outs of producing a great pizza, but also a great deal about the value of marketing and the importance of dealing fairly with fellow employees and clients.
After Garcia's Pizza, I moved back to the Chicago area and took a job as a structural engineer in a firm that designed power plants. For the next six years I would have parties for friends and co-workers and always served homemade pizza, made in the tradition of Garcia's. One day a friend called me up and told me about a pizza oven that was not being used by a local pizza place. After renting a trailer and picking up the oven, I began to look for a small storefront to rent in Wilmette, and began my journey. I was fortunate to find a store on Old Glenview Road and Skokie Blvd. and we opened on March 6, 1981, just six months after my daughter Bridget was born. About 4 years later, I gave up the job as an engineer and have been 'doing' pizzas ever since.
While always maintaining a store in Wilmette, we have had stores selling Cheese To Please Pizza in Wheeling, Chicago, Woodstock and Buffalo Grove. Additionally, we have been asked to consider opening stores in Arizona, Boston, Las Vegas and Texas. But for right now, we are staying right here in Wilmette.
When we first opened, 20 years ago, we had very limited seating and were mainly a delivery pizza place. But now, not only do we still offer quality delivery and pick-up service, we also have a new dining room that seats up to 45 people. Not only has our store expanded, but so has our menu. Our whole pizzas have 20 all-fresh toppings to choose from, and we also have sandwiches, salads, breadsticks, pastas, rib-tips, sodas, juices, and soon will be offering desserts.
For the last 20 years, pizza has been my passion, and I gladly welcome you to come and try out our delicious pizzas and other foods.
|Small Business of the Year 2001-Wilmette Chamber of Commerce|
|"The Perfect Pizza"-Pioneer Press March 27, 1986|
|"The Reader's Choice Pizza"-The Lerner News Group|
|'"...a satisfying and scrumptious success"-Inside Lincoln Park December 21, 1988|
|"Loving care plus fine ingredients make their products a joy to taste."-Customer mention in Chicago Sun Times August 23, 1985|
|"Fresh ingredients, rich taste, crust delicate and crispy, lots of flavor in ingredients, cheesier..." -Chicago Sun Times November 19, 1993.|
|Famous 'Cheese To Pleasers'|
|Eddie Vedder||Jay Leno||Heather Thomas|
|Steve Dahl||Garry Meier||Stacy King|
|John Drummond||Bozo The Clown||Phil Ponce|
|Every McKenzie Student||Al Lichtenstein||Bridget Tenner|
|Ron Kovich||1984 Chicago Bears||Kevin Tapani|
|Katie Greenburg||Frazier Thomas||Jeff (Rocky) Wener|
|Jim Hyman||Dave Pinzur||Larry Futterman|