They make ’em. You bake ’em. And they’re hearty & good
Before there was a Papa Murphy’s in Boulder, there was a Nick-N-Willy’s selling fully assembled pizzas to be baked at home. In fact, Keith McQuillen and Terry Jones founded the pizzeria around the time I moved to Boulder — conveniently around the corner from my house. Also before there were (relatively) pricey pizzerias in Boulder like Basta, da Lupo and Locale, there was Nick-N-Willy’s. The pizzas were more expensive than others, but they were loaded with an interesting selection of toppings.
Over the years, I have filled numerous punch cards and gotten a free pizza for each. McQuillen and Jones have since sold Nick-N-Willy’s World Famous Pizza, which is now headquartered in Canada and is being franchised like crazy, and despite my general disinclination to patronize chains with non-local ownership, I still delude myself into thinking that my neighborhood one is a Boulder pizzeria and occasionally order one from them. It now takes longer to fill a punch card.
The other evening, there wasn’t much food in the house, and we were getting hungry, but I was neither inclined to got shopping nor go out to eat. Of course, we called Nick-N-Willy’s. The drill is: call, heat the oven to 450 degrees, walk around to the store, bring the pizza home and pop it into the oven. The directions on every package include when and how much to turn it, and when to prick the crust that puffs up, even when you’ve ordered a thin crust instead of their standard medium. For me, an East Coaster, a thick, Chicago-style crust is not even an option.
Nick-N-Willy’s also sell a few salads pre-packed in plastic clamshells with a small choice or dressings, wings, bake-at-home herb bread and chocolate chip cookies, plus soft drinks for those who buy a slice and eat it at the counter or at an outdoor table in good weather. Gluten-free pizzas are now also available.
Price Check: Each Nick-N-Willy’s seems to set its own prices.