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A Piece of the Pie: 1812 Pizza Company Continues Jonesboro Expansion
by Cody Moore, photography by Kayla Broadway

From its unique menu items to its small-town hospitality, 1812 Pizza Company has quickly become a favorite among Jonesboro’s pizza lovers. Established in 2013 by husband and wife duo Matt and Jamie Davis, the local pizzeria recently announced plans to open a second Jonesboro location this month.

Matt and Jamie, have always had a strong passion for customer service. Working in the food business most of their lives, the two knew they wanted to own and operate their own local restaurant from a very young age.

“The idea of owning our own restaurant really started while we were working at Sonic Drive-In in Manila at age 16,” said Matt. “Instead of owning a chain or franchise restaurant, we wanted a local mom-and-pop place where we could do things in a hometown fashion.”

Fast-forward several years, when the two would go on to open the first 1812 Pizza Company in their hometown of Manila. The inspiration behind the pizzeria’s name comes from the 1811 and 1812 New Madrid earthquakes that helped form Big Lake, a wildlife refuge in Manila.

After finding success at their hometown location, Matt and Jamie decided to take the risk and open an 1812 Pizza Company in Jonesboro. The restaurant’s Race Street location opened its doors in November 2016 and has thrived ever since.

“We’ve put our whole lives into 1812,” said Matt. “There’s no other way to own a business if you’re not going to put your entire hearts in it. On most weekends, you’ll find Jamie and I answering phones, making pizzas, washing dishes and working alongside our employees. We take pride in our business.”

Since opening the Race Street location, Jamie spends most of her time managing the Manila location, while Matt spends his time in Jonesboro working with his brother, Jeremy Davis, whom he gives credit to for the initial move to Jonesboro.

“We absolutely would not have opened in Jonesboro if it were not for my brother taking a huge risk and joining our team,” said Matt. “Jeremy is the general manager and future supervisor of all Jonesboro and Northeast Arkansas locations. He’s really just an extension of us with all the same passions. Admittedly, Jeremy’s actually a better cook than myself.”

This month, 1812 Pizza Company will open its second Jonesboro location on Hilltop. Although there isn’t an exact date set for the opening yet, the owners say it will be announced on all of their social media pages very soon.

“We do a lot of business with the Hilltop area, and with that side of town growing like crazy, it seemed like a no-brainer to open there when we had the chance,” said Matt. “We can better serve the Hilltop area with the location based there, especially being so close to Sage Meadows.

“We want to be Hilltop’s go-to hometown place where we’ll know your name and your favorite pizza.”

At 1812, each and every pizza is hand-crafted and perfected in store. Among 1812 Pizza Company’s best-selling pizzas are the 1812, topped with pepperoni, beef, sausage, onions, bell peppers, black olives and mushrooms, and the Carnivore, topped with pepperoni, beef, sausage, Italian sausage, smoked ham and bacon.

The Hot Honey Pizza, topped with layers of pepperoni and chili-infused honey drizzle, has also become a favorite.

“On your first visit to 1812, you have to start off with a Fitz’s craft soda,” said Matt. “I always recommend the root beer or the cardinal cream. As far as I know, we’re the only place in Arkansas that offers Fitz’s sodas.

“After that, I’d try some of our toasted raviolis served with our homemade ranch. Then you have to try a pizza, of course. You can’t go wrong with a plain cheese or pepperoni pizza, but maybe branch out and try our brand new Hawaiian pizza. It has a golden BBQ base, mozzarella, ham, bacon, pineapple and bread and butter pickles on top.”

1812 Pizza Company has two different menus; there is a traditional menu that consists of appetizers, salads, wings, specialty pizzas, sandwiches, wraps, baked potatoes and the insanely popular grilled cheeses, with the other menu being the more unique “Weirder Things” menu.

“We love to be creative at 1812, so the ‘Weirder Things’ menu was inspired by a few new pizzas we had at the time,” said Matt. “We had an employee contest where they came up with their own pizzas and two of them got to be on the Weirder Things menu, including The Greek and the Ready Spaghetti. The Golden Years dessert pizza is probably one of the best we’ve ever done, topped with sea salt and caramel.”

This month, 1812 Pizza Company will bring back its seasonal Spooky Reece’s Pieces Pizza, as well as introduce the Rodeo Pizza, topped with brisket, BBQ sauce and fried onions.

1812 Pizza Company is also striving to be more environmentally friendly. The business has removed all styrofoam to-go containers and plastic straw use from its locations, offering only reusable cups and 100 percent biodegradable straws and to-go containers.

“We’re certainly not perfect, but we’re trying to be better for the environment,” said Matt.

Since moving their locally-grown pizzeria to Jonesboro without knowing anyone, the 1812 family feels incredibly grateful to have received as much positive feedback from the community as they have.

“Not knowing really anyone in town at first was intimidating,” said Matt. “But, the more we got to know people and the more people got to know us, we truly feel like we fit in perfectly. Our customers have been great, and we love being able to share our food in a comfortable, hometown-feeling place.”

1812 Pizza Company, located at 2815-A Race St., is open Monday through Thursday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. To keep up with the latest updates and announcements, find 1812 Pizza Company on Facebook or call (870) 520-6434.