Celebrating 30 Years of Flying Pie

How would you celebrate 30 years of great pizza, great beer and great crews?

We thought 30 years deserved more than just a cake, so we set our sights on a grand celebration for both our customers and our crews.

It all started with the banners we hung out in front of the stores saying, “Celebrating 30 years”, which has a nice meaning, whichever way you read it.

Then we decided to throw a party, but not just any party…a reunion party for all the Flying Pie-ers who’ve worked here, lo these past 30 years.  We put some information up on the web site, and trusted that the people who needed to know about it would find out in some way or another.

We knew our customers needed to be a big part of our 30 year celebration.  On Saturday, August 2nd we started with our very own showing of Wizard of Oz at the Egyptian Theater with proceeds benefiting the local Ronald McDonald House.  As “The End” scrolled up the screen, our restaurants were gearing up to show our customers how much we appreciate them.

Can you imagine only 30 cent second pizzas?  Yep!  Our customers deserve it!  And what’s a party without cake for everyone? We had lots of cake!

On Sunday, August 3rd, we closed both restaurants and had a delightful reunion picnic at Municipal Park.  Several hundred Pie-ers and family stopped by and enjoyed the catered food (of course it was catered, we didn’t want any of our employees to work this special day), music jam sessions, games, a photo slideshow, and of course, all the reminiscing of “back in the day.” It turned out to be just as wonderful a time for the current folks as it was for all those from previous decades.  We shared memories, reconnected with friends, and paid respects to the astonishing impact that Flying Pie has made on our lives.

The Idaho Statesman sent a reporter and photographer, and Channel 12 also sent a team to cover the festivities.

Some folks even came from far, far away to celebrate this wonderful accomplishment with us:

• Barry Olivier (Howard’s dad) flew up from the Bay Area for the weekend.

• Alyne and Darrin Branson (who met while working here, 15 years ago) flew in from Rathdrum, ID (near Spokane).

• Kammi Flitton flew in from Seattle. Of the day’s event, Kammi commented that this is about the only place that folks would travel long miles, to a reunion of where they used to work.  Family, maybe, but not for a job they held once.  But it was abundantly clear throughout the day that Flying Pie Pizzaria matters very much to the folks who worked here.


• Angie Crego flew in from Denver and, oddly enough, had her high school reunion the same weekend! We don’t want to insult anyone by saying which one she liked better.

A passel of folks came over from Portland, including…

o Dan and Dave McKenna

o Karen Page

o Jim Bostwick

o Valerie McClintock

o Will Levinson

• Roger Baird, one of the all time great managers, and the first person to run all three of the stores (at different times) was happy to catch up with us.

• Joe Levitch spent the whole day visiting and revisiting previous connections, and felt completely energized by the 8 hour rendezvous.

• A highlight for Howard was introducing Bob Davis to Pesh Mike (the two titans of prep in the past 30 years).

• Alan Pearson came by with his daughter.

• Sean Cook and Richard Fernand stopped by for awhile.

• Vicki Marsh, who has done all the graphic work on 47 menus for us was excited to be able to come and experience so much of the scene.

• Mark Emery and two of his daughters Melissa and Monica, who both worked at Flying Pie, made our party a family affair.

During the course of the day a fairly new employee, Briana came up to Howard and said, “Everywhere I have worked has talked about that ‘we’re a family’, and none of them were anything like a family, but this… this really is. Thank you.”  She then gave him a big hug, and returned to the celebrating.

If you’re thinking, “Well, the party’s over…sounds like it was fun, but we missed it,” it’s not too late for you to join in the 30th anniversary celebration– we have commemorative t-shirts and two varieties of custom 16 ounce glasses.

If you have a story to add to this collection, please shoot it over to lesley@flyingpie.com.  Many voices will only enrich the story of what happened that day or has happened sometime during the first 30 years of Flying Pie Pizzaria!

Thank You to all the folks who came to celebrate with us and cheer us on toward our next 30 years of great pizza, great people and great beer.

NPR Story about 30-year reunion –

MP3 file