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Sunday, Nov 23, 2014
Columnists

Indian Rocks pizza place helps slain soldier’s family

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Doing good for someone else generally isn’t as easy as eating pizza.

But that’s just what the people at Slyce Pizza Bar in Indian Rocks Beach are doing.

In August, Slyce created a special pizza to honor Matthew Sitton, an Army Ranger from Largo who was killed in Afghanistan that same month after stepping on an improvised explosive device while on patrol. Sitton left behind a wife and a 9-month-old son.

“We wanted to use Slyce as a rallying point for the community to come together in support of his surviving wife, Sarah, and their son … Brodey,” the restaurant states.

Since then Slyce has been donating $2 to a fund set up for Brodey every time someone orders a Sitton Supreme Pizza. The special creation is topped with applewood smoked bacon, pepperoni, Cajun sausage, crimini mushrooms, fresh spinach, red onion, fontina and fresh mozzarella cheeses.

“We want people to feel like they can give back, and we try and make it easy to do that,” said General Manager Suzanne Brown.

“People will help in the short term when it’s fresh in their minds, but we wanted to make some sort of long-term commitment.”

Slyce’s commitment is to keep donating money to the Brodey Sitton Fund until the boy turns 18.

As of last week, Slyce had sold 443 pizzas and donated $1,180.

Sales are likely to start increasing.

Up until now, Slyce has advertised the Sitton Supreme mostly by word of mouth – special pitches from the servers and table tents. The restaurant is reintroducing the pizza with the arrival of new menus – the updated takeout menus are in; the in-house ones are on their way. The Sitton Supreme tops the list of available pizzas.

Staff members also will be trained on the special purpose behind the special pizza, though many of them are well-acquainted with Sitton’s story. Front-of-the-house turnover is rare, and many of the servers have met Sitton’s parents, who are frequent guests, Brown said. They attend the same church as Ken Gillespie, one of Slyce’s owners.

Of course, the Sitton Supreme is one of their pizzas of choice. Slyce, in fact, chose the toppings with the help of Sitton’s parents and wife. He was inventive with his toppings, Brown said. So the restaurant tried to be creative in the pizza named after him.

Of course, once people hear about the man behind the Sitton Supreme, and the family he left behind, the pizza almost sells itself.

“I almost think sometimes no matter what the toppings are the people would order it,” Brown said.

Hungry for the chance to do some good – or maybe just some great pizza? Slyce is at 311 Gulf Blvd. in Indian Rocks Beach. Go to www.slycepizzabar.com for information.

Meet the editor The weekly conversation moves to the Café at Artpool, 2030 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg, from 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday. Hope to see you there.


jscullin@tampatrib.com

(727) 828-6150

Twitter: jscullinTBO

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