New York City’s Champion Pizza operates on a larger scale than the rest.
Champion Pizza doesn’t make oversized pies. They make pies the size of mattresses.
Champion Pizza doesn’t get the word out on social media. They break the internet and, occasionally, invade national television.
Owner Hakki Akdeniz doesn’t flip pizza dough to the ceiling – he dances with dough and occasionally lights it on fire as he tosses his way to World Pizza Acrobatics titles.
Champion Pizza’s approach to the restaurant biz borders on the ridiculous and often ventures into the absurd. But there’s a method to, and a purpose for, Akdeniz’s madness.
“I don’t want to be rich, or have a billion dollars. If I wanted to stop today, I could stop. I have enough money,” Akdeniz said. “It’s not about being rich, having the nicest car, or living in a mansion.
“My goals are simple: I want to be a good person, be humble, and support homeless people.