COLUMBIA — For the first time, Shakespeare's Pizza will be a vendor at a farmers market.
Starting Saturday, Shakespeare’s will join Soulard Market. The open-air market, founded in 1779, is in the suburb of Soulard, 2 miles south of downtown St. Louis.
Claire Buttice, frozen sales manager for Shakespeare’s Pizza, said the Mizzou Alumni Association helped pinpoint areas in St. Louis along Interstate 70 and U.S. 40 with a heavy population of MU alumni.
"The brand equity that Shakespeare’s has really helps with these sales," she said. "You can grab another pizza, or you could grab a Shakespeare’s — and that has a little more meaning to it."
Kathy Sullivan — executive assistant of Parks, Recreation and Forestry for St. Louis — said about 10,000 people visit Soulard Market on weekends.
The market is open Wednesdays through Saturdays. The Shakespeare's stand will be open only on Saturdays.
"Fridays and Saturdays are our biggest days," Sullivan said. "We have a lot of third- and fourth-generation people."
Sullivan said the market is excited to welcome Shakespeare’s because pizza is not typical farmers market cuisine.
The Shakespeare's stand will be in the prepared foods wing of the farmers market. "The wing we’re on is closed off, so we can do it year-round," Buttice said.
The frozen pies, which are prepared at Shakespeare's southern Columbia location, are made in the same fashion as in-store pizzas and with the same fresh ingredients. They can be found in grocery stores such as Schnucks and Hy-Vee between Kansas City and St. Louis.
Buttice said the only difference between frozen pies and a hot slice is the oven. She recommends grilling the frozen pies to get even closer to the famous Shakespeare’s flavor.
"We’re really looking forward to it, and we think it will be a positive move," Buttice said. "We hope to see our alumni as well as a bunch of new faces."
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