Aloha baked fresh daily in Kaimuki
By Elima Pangorang
The joy of making pizza is that it can be decorated with an array of toppings ranging from fresh vegetables, hearty meats and even sweet delights. More so, variations in America are plentiful and include New York-, Chicago-and Boston-style pizza, to name a few.
For Hawaii residents, there’s no shortage of any of these options when one is pining for a slice or two. Kaimuki’s Boston Pizza is among the eateries that ensure satisfaction in every bite with its 19-inch, 3-pound hand-tossed pies, on which are piled only the freshest ingredients.
Owner Shawn Rubert explained that the restaurant’s ingredients are never preserved. “We do everything fresh,” he said. “We don’t own a freezer. Most places would open a can of pineapple, for example, but we cut all that fresh.”
Patrons love coming into the spacious spot boasting checkered tablecloths, a pair of arcade games and decorated walls of Kodak moments, community stories and sports memorabilia. In the kitchen area, one can find general manager Vanessa Brizdle and other employees impressively tossing up oversized dough, topping them and placing them into the Ferris wheel oven — which, by the way, can cook up to 36 pizzas at a time.
The space is further described by Rubert as an inviting old-school pizzeria offering original Boston-style pies and a whole lot of fun.
“When you walk in, it starts with the music and sports on TV,” he began. “Everybody is usually singing or joking or laughing. The customers get a big kick out of us singing.” He even described the scene as featuring friendly back-and-forth bits of sports talk between customers and employees.
“It’s a high-energy environment … and (also) comfortable,” said Rubert.
As much enjoyment as the establishment brings guests, it’s even more satisfying to employees. Staffers at Kaimuki’s Boston Pizza receive top-notch training in prepping, cooking and customer service areas that radiate throughout their lives, and bring continuous growth to all aspects of their everyday life.
“We tell our employees, when you come to work here, it’s not a fast food job — you’re representing Boston Pizza,” described Rubert. “When you tell people you work here, they’re going to respond to that and they are going to know you and recognize you when you’re in the neighborhood.”
When scouting potential candidates, he looks for a positive attitude, excellent communication skills, flexible and team-first players who possess the ability to also work independently in a fast-paced environment.
“The first thing I’m looking for is if they’re smart and can think quickly on their feet. I’ll ask them about an interaction with a teacher or if they ever had to defend a kid against a bully,” he said.
While that may seem a bit un-orthodox, Rubert said, “It speaks a lot about the person and what they are capable of doing. I then see if that personality is going to fit in with what we do here.”
Candidates who are willing to learn and put their best foot forward for the success of the pizzeria and everyone in it are ideal selections. The best part about working at Kaimuki’s Boston Pizza is that no experience is required. In fact, Rubert and Brizdle will train staffers with the goal of becoming pizza makers.
“We like to see people when they’re done here that they go on and do good things, that’s the main thing,” concluded Rubert. “It’s a people business. Everybody should have the opportunity to work behind the counter or wait on tables because you learn a lot about human nature and how people are. You learn how to take pride in your job.”
Applicants can stop by the store to apply in person or send a résumé to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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COMPANY: Kaimuki’s Boston Pizza
LOCATION: 3506 Waialae Ave., Honolulu
OWNER: Shawn Rubert
BENEFITS: All employees receive free and discounted pizza, tips plus pay, and full-time employees receive health benefits.
NOTEWORTHY: Kaimuki’s Boston Pizza o° ers a fundraising program for those looking to raise money. Each pizza sold will receive $6 back to the organization. Call or email to learn more.