UNCLE MADDIO'S: PERFECT PIZZA, PRONTO

By Michelle Aiello, Photos By Keni Parks

 

Located next to the Chevy Chase Kroger at 630 East Euclid Avenue, Uncle Maddio’s is a modern, fast-casual pizza restaurant that lets diners create their own customized pizzas. After choosing from a variety of crusts, sauces, cheeses, meat, and fresh vegetables, the pizzas are baked to order in six and a half minutes. 
“Here, you can make your own pizza without getting your hands dirty,” said Billy White, who co-owns the franchise along with brothers Todd, Matt, and Robb Sackett. “All of our ingredients are fresh, the pizza dough is made in-house each day, and we have locally-grown veggies delivered every morning.” 
Seating for 100 and garage-style doors that open onto an outdoor patio make the dining experience at Uncle Maddio’s both relaxed and modern. With an ordering concept similar to Jimmy John’s, Subway, and Chipotle, customers can interact directly with the pizza maker, telling them exactly how much or little of each ingredient to include. 
Uncle Maddio’s extensive pizza menu features three different dough options for their New York style thin crust pizzas – traditional white flour, whole wheat, and gluten-free. With six different sauce options including old favorites like tomato basil and off-the-beaten-path choices like buttermilk ranch, herb pesto, and spicy buffalo, plus over 45 different cheese, meat and veggie toppings to choose from, customers can create just about any pizza imaginable. Daiya vegan cheese and grilled tofu are also available. 
Alongside the custom-pizza options, Uncle Maddio’s offers a variety of 
signature pizzas, like the Steak & Blue (grilled steak, mozzarella, blue cheese, roma tomatoes, spinach, garlic olive oil and balsamic glaze) and the Southwest Baja (tomato basil sauce, mozzarella, cheddar, southwest spices, grilled chicken, black bean and corn salsa, picked jalapenos, cilantro and chipotle ranch dressing). 
Their salads, such as the Greek, Santa fe and Chicken Caesar, come in entrée and side salads: you can also create-your-own salad. The restaurant offers “foldwiches” – unique sandwiches folded into handmade pizza crusts. Several varieties are available, including the Spicy Italian and the Chipotle Turkey. They offer a selection of seasonal craft beers and wine as well.
White and the Sackett brothers are no strangers to the restaurant business. Over the past 16 years they have owned and operated 11 Jimmy John’s sandwich shops in Lexington and Richmond. White said that they decided to expand after their success with Jimmy John’s because they love Lexington and noted that the fast-casual pizza market is rapidly expanding. Based in Atlanta and currently operating 39 restaurants in 13 states, Uncle Maddio’s is growing consistently, with more than 250 restaurants currently in development. In addition to the Chevy Chase restaurant, two more Lexington locations are in the works. 
Most of all, White and his partners want the public to know that Uncle Maddio’s is a great place to hang out and bring the family, and the perfect spot to dine before the game. And for those looking for a restaurant franchise, it’s a great new opportunity.
“The Lexington community has a lot of choices when dining out, but we think Uncle Maddio’s will become their favorite,” he said. “Our New York-style thin crust pizza is Americans’ favorite, and with our fast service and fresh ingredients, we plan to win over families, friends, busy lunchtime diners, and any other guest that wants to join us. So come on in, have a Country Boy or Blue Stallion draft and let us make you a custom pizza. Six and a half minutes later, that pizza will be at your table.”
Q&A with co-owner Billy White
You’ve worked in a few different industries. How did you get into the restaurant business?
Our youngest partner, Matt Sackett, approached his older brother (and partner) Robb and me back in 1999. We knew Jimmy John and his business model and we found it to be a great opportunity. Nine Jimmy John’s locations and one Uncle Maddio’s later, we are doing all right and really enjoying Lexington!
Tell us about the origin of the name Uncle Maddio’s. 
Founder Matt Andrew’s nieces and nephews call him Uncle Maddio!
What’s one ingredient that is always in your kitchen? 
Garlic. I use it with almost everything I cook.
What is your personal favorite Uncle Maddio’s pizza? 
My favorite is traditional crust with red sauce, Uncle Maddio’s handmade meatballs, fresh mozzarella and black olives or mushrooms. My partner Todd Sackett, who runs the place, is always coming up with crazy and awesome tasting combinations of our 47 toppings, and 5 sauces.
You’re from Chicago. In your opinion, who makes the best pizza there? 
For me, it’s Lou Malnati’s – no contest. The thick butter crust is incredible, cheese portion is large and the sausage is ONE huge flat patty on the top of the pizza with red sauce on top. It’s phenomenal!
What is it like working in your kitchen?
Fun, I hope! It’s always important to bring positive energy to everything that you do. My employees feed off of that, and so do our customers. People have lots of choices for dining out. We want to make them feel the most welcomed and relaxed.
Why did you choose to move your family to Lexington?
Lexington is where our restaurants are located. As Marketing Manager, my mission is to get to know the Lexington community (University of Kentucky, the healthcare and horse industries, schools, etc.) and be part of the neighborhood. I feel that getting to know the people of Lexington and what’s important to them will only improve our business. And it’s been a blast!
Besides pizza of course, what is your second favorite food? 
Ribeye steak, charred rare and served with thickly sliced Vidalia onions and asparagus, right off the grill. 
What are some of your favorite places to eat out in Lexington?
The Sage Rabbit, Cole’s, Tony’s, West Sixth Brewery for beers, and Smithtown Seafood for fried oysters and grits. I enjoy local places or places that feel local. Nice people, great service and exceptional food. Lexington is full of places like that, and I believe Uncle Maddio’s is one of them.
Something people would be surprised to know about you?
Most of our Jimmy John’s restaurants will not let me near the food preparation line! The same is true at Uncle Maddio’s. They make fun of me when I try to make a pizza or a Turkey Tom.
If someone wanted to open a restaurant, what 3 things would you tell them? 
1. Do your research and make sure there is a fit for your concept.
2. Deliver positive energy and input at all times.
3. You gotta love it!
Tell us about your family.
My wife Barbara and I have been married 27 years and she has a successful consulting business in Chicago. Daughter Audrey (22) is an aspiring writer and a sustainable farm hand in her senior year at the University of Iowa. Our son Andrew (21) is a senior at the University of Missouri and studies Strategic Communications. He also loves UK Hoops! Rachel (17) plays soccer and has been visiting college campuses like Butler, Colorado Sate University and Air Force Academy.
What do you enjoy doing on your time off? 
I enjoy golf, getting some exercise, horse racing and spending time with our Australian Shepherd, Toby. But mostly, I enjoy traveling back to Chicago to see my family. 

 

 

 



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