I have had the pleasure of eating pizza in New York; battled with
Chicago residents on what city had the best pizza; visited a chain
called Pizza Inn that had all kinds of pizza including strawberry and
other desert types; tasted Pizza in Austria and Italy (not very good);
and lived with Costco pizza as the price was right and my children
liked it.

None of this prepared me for a visit to the Pizza Convention in Las
Vegas held two weeks ago in Las Vegas.  I have attended business
conventions throughout my career working for City, State and Federal
agencies.  So when Scott invited me to come with him to the Pizza
Convention I felt rather blasé about the whole thing.  I was totally
unprepared for what I saw.  The Convention covered the main floor of
the Center and was the size of three football fields.  We were handed
a program, but roller skates would have been much better.  I was
totally awed by the assembly of products used to make pizza.  Massive
unemployment would develop if we stopped eating that product.  I saw
automated machines that could make a pizza from scratch; sampled a
broad variety of products used to make and flavor pizza; there was a
broad range of marketing tools to help a pizza parlor sell their
product; and best of all there was an endless supply of samples to
taste.  Owners and managers of Pizza Parlors could check out a broad
range of products to help them pick the best one for them.  We had a
chance to see automated machines that took your order and charged your
account.  Everything was possible!

Perhaps best of all, was the chance to meet knowledgeable vendors,
chat with fellow Pizza people, watch the pros actually make and twirl
the product, and find out at the end that you could walk five miles
without collapsing!

All in all, it was a wonderful day!  To top it off, we discovered a
wonderful non-pizza product:  a box that, when one put in one shoe at
a time, covered it with plastic.  This meant that my wife would no
longer yell at me for dirtying the floor, and for the restaurant owner
it meant cleaner floors!

At the end, I learned a lot and was quite grateful for having been
included.  Did I forget to mention the samples that were brought home!

John Lustig, Sr. Feature Editor