A lifetime in the restaurant industry has taught Terry Black a lot of lessons, but it’s been nothing but good to him ever since opening Jimmy and Joe’s Pizza. With locations first in Chandler, then Mesa, Black and his family are now bringing that same successful recipe to a third East Valley area spot.
Jimmy and Joe’s Pizzeria, The pizzeria is famous for its 24-inch pizza, which makes slices large enough to share and ingredients Black says customers enjoy to the last bite, is now open at Elliot Road and 48th Street in Ahwatukee.
Black worked for chain restaurants right out of college, and continued to be employed with restaurants through most of his adult life. At different times he has owned his own restaurant with different partners, but each closed down after only a few years.
“Hindsight, I realized sometimes restaurants just don’t go,” he said.
Black got into food distribution and was introduced to the pizza business before meeting Nick Heddings of Arizona Pizza Company. Aware of Black’s past, Heddings shared his pizza recipe and Black applied it to his own simple concept.
“I learned to keep overhead small and keep it simple,” Black said. “We have pizza, wings, salads and three sandwiches. It’s not a big menu. We just keep it simple.”
The first Jimmy and Joe’s opened in Chandler in 2006, followed by a second in Mesa four years later. East Valley Tribune readers voted Jimmy and Joe’s “Best Pizzeria” during the 2011 “Best of the East Valley” contest, and it finished as a finalist again in 2013.
“We’ve always wanted to come to Ahwatukee,” Black said.
Several deals on different sites have fallen through over the years, but finally one worked out.
“Our demographic is primarily kids and families,” said Amy Black, Terry’s daughter and an operations manager for the company. “We pride ourselves on being family friendly and very active in the community. We got such a big response from opening in Chandler almost from the get-go and we’ve always had people coming over from Ahwatukee. It’s been the most desired request from our customers to come to Ahwatukee.”
The Ahwatukee location will be the largest yet. Eventually, the company would like to add beer and wine to the offerings in Ahwatukee.
“It’ll be the best Jimmy and Joe’s yet,” Black said.