Alaska company takes pizza to new heights with air delivery

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska company has taken pizza to new heights by providing airplane deliveries around the state.

Papa Murphy’s in Anchorage flies hundreds of miles to deliver about 150 pizzas each week, Alaska Public Media reported Thursday.

Owner Tyler Williams said the shop offers assembled pizzas for its Anchorage customers to take home to bake. The rest of the uncooked pies are flash-frozen for air delivery to customers throughout Alaska.

“They get flown out frozen,” Williams said. “Once the customer gets them it takes two to three days, depending on weather. They defrost them, it takes just a couple hours on the counter.”

The pizzas are not the type usually found in grocery store frozen food aisles.

“All of our pizzas are made fresh in house, we grate our cheese every day, process our veggies every day, make our dough every day. So it’s all extremely fresh product that we make and we flash freeze them,” Williams said.

The air deliveries began as a simple matter of supplying a demand.

“We just had people calling us, asking us to bring pizzas to the airport and drop them off,” Williams said.

Orders are shipped out frequently and travel as far as Prudhoe Bay at the top of the state, which would be a delivery of 855 miles (1,376 kilometers) by car.

“Now we do several bush orders a week,” Williams said. “We work with several schools in Alaska and churches, stuff like that. We do big fundraisers.”

Flying to remote parts of the state can be expensive, but Williams said Papa Murphy’s partners with airlines to minimize shipping costs.

“Our profit per pizza is a little bit less,” Williams said. “But the fact that we’re shipping, because we’re covering the shipping cost in most cases, since we’re doing orders of 10 or more, there’s enough margin there to make it work.”

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