Whichever side of the pineapple divide you’re on, everyone can celebrate National Pizza Day on February 9.
Benny’s Pizza in San Luis Obispo is a little different from other pizzerias. It opened last February, two weeks before the pandemic lockdown.
Benjamin Arrona is the creator and owner. He specializes in Detroit-style pizzas and started out making the pies for his friends about five years ago.
He said they convinced him to open his own brick-and-mortar location last year.
Benny’s runs on a model with fewer choices and a limited supply.
You have to join the Benny’s Pizza Facebook group and agree to the rules before you can order.
“You have to join the group, you get accepted into the group, and then I post the day before I cook," Arrona explained. "I have a set amount of toppings, no substitutions, no crazy stuff. People put in the order as soon as the post comes up.”
You order through the Facebook Messenger app and he sends you a confirmation.
“It’s been crazy, so I’ve been selling out every single time I cook and I cook on Tuesdays and Fridays. My whole platform is unique. It’s all through Facebook, it’s very personal, and I get to know all my customers,” he said.
The limited pizza pies, toppings, and method of ordering are by design.
“[My pizzas] are kind of unique because the Detroit style needs to be risen in the pan. If I have a hundred pans, then a hundred maximum pizzas. That’s why I sell out every day.”
Arrona works out of a kitchen at a shopping center near the corner of Foothill Blvd. and Santa Rosa St. and rents out the space when he's not using it. The other tenants include other pop-up restaurants and food trucks.
If you can’t make it there on Tuesdays and Fridays, there’s another option to get one of Benny’s pizzas. Arrona also sets up shop as a pop-up at Liquid Gravity Brewing Company on Thursdays.
“So if you guys are hungry for Benny’s and you can’t get it tonight, show up on Thursday between 3 and 8 p.m.,” he added.
When he is not selling pizzas, Arrona is an adjunct professor at Cuesta College where he teaches history. He is also pursuing his doctorate at Oxford University.