Pizza Brain

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Pizza Brain Museum of Pizza Culture
Industry Retail
Founded Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2011)
Founder Brian Dwyer
Joseph Hunter
Michael Carter
Ryan Anderson
Headquarters Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
Products Pizza
Parent Brian Dwyer, Michael Carter

Pizza Brain is an American pizza culture museum and pizzeria, and home to the world's largest collection of pizza memorabilia and collectibles,[1] headquartered in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, United States, with the flagship restaurant on Frankford Avenue.


In May 2010, Kensington-based artist Brian Dwyer, along with Christopher Powell, organized "Give Pizza Chance"—Philadelphia's first pizza-based art show—in which pizza served as muse for more than 25 artists who displayed their work at a local gallery.[2] Inspired by the show's success, Dwyer became fascinated with the communal and seemingly boundless reach of pizza, seeking out more pizza-related memorabilia, with the intention of turning the pizza art exhibit into a yearly occurrence.

In December 2010, Dwyer connected with Michael Carter, Joseph Hunter and Ryan Anderson via Circle of Hope, a Brethren in Christ church located in the Fishtown and East Kensington sections of Philadelphia.[3] Carter, a business executive, left academic publishing to make meaningful investments in the renewal of his hometown.[4] Hunter, a pizzaioli recently transplanted from South Carolina to Philadelphia, sought a venue where pizza could bring communities together.,[5][6] Anderson, a master carpenter worked on craft projects at the nexus of art and utility.

In January 2011, the four formed a business to turn Dwyer's pizza art show into a business model- a pizzeria & museum where members of the community could connect and celebrate a common love of pizza.[7] Together they curated the world's largest collection of pizza related items, earning a Guinness World Record in summer 2011.[8]

On September 7, 2012, Pizza Brain opened its doors to the public. (The company's name comes from the frequent misspelling of Dwyer's first name, in which the 'a' and the 'i' are transposed to spell 'Brain.').[9]

Guinness World Record[edit]

Guinness officially adjudicate Pizza Brain's collection before the company formed as an LLC. On July 31, 2011 Guinness World Records under individual category and Dwyer's name, Guinness certified the collection as "the world's largest collection of pizza-related items".[10]

Pizza Brain's Museum of Pizza Culture[edit]

Pizza Brain's Guinness-certified collection is the core of its Museum of Pizza Culture, which is increasingly recognized as a food museum., [11][12][13] Today, the collection ranges from the familiar (toys, puzzles, magazine ads, comic books, etc.) to the absurd - including a stainless-steel pizza cutter shaped like the USS Enterprise, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pizza Drop plinko arcade game circa 1990, an original Spanish poster print of the film Do the Right Thing and more than 150 vinyl 45s and LPs spanning 6 decades honoring pizza in song and lyric.

Pre-open Press[edit]

In December 2010, Dwyer met Joe Hunter, a pizza chef hailing from South Carolina interested in opening a community-minded pizzeria in his adopted home of Philadelphia. The following month in January 2011, businessman Michael Carter and master carpenter Ryan Anderson teamed up with Brian and Joe. Hunter immediately set to work on Pizza Brain’s unique pie concepts and flavor profiles.[14] Carter provided curatorial direction to Dwyer’s collection and developed the business’ strategic model, including its emphasis on content-rich social media. Anderson applied his considerable carpentry talents to the design of Pizza Brain’s physical space, making creative use of reclaimed and found materials.[15] Dwyer continued to head sourcing of interesting pizza-related items to place on the company's Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram accounts. Collaboratively, the quartet turned an art show into the Pizza Brain museum and restaurant concept: a place that serves delicious artisan pies in a museum-like space that captures and commemorates pizza as a cultural icon.

A cascade of additional articles followed as the Museum of Pizza Culture concept gained notoriety, including Zagat,[16] Huffington Post,[17] Philadelphia Inquirer,[18]Fox News,[19] Food Network Magazine, Metro,[20] Laughing Squid,[21] and the magazine for Australia's national airline Qantas.[22]

NPR's All Things Considered also covered the story,[23] as well as TV outlets like NBC 10,[24] and Good Morning Sacramento.[25]

In September 2012, The New York Times,[26] Associated Press,[27] Condé Nast Traveler,[28] USA Today,[29] TIME,[30] BBC Travel [31] and The Guardian [32] all profiled Pizza Brain during its opening month, garnering further national and international attention.

On September 26, 2012, CBS This Morning [33] aired a nationally televised news feature on the museum/restaurant, resulting in Pizza Brain being selected as a topic of discussion on Jeopardy!'s Twitter account.[34]

Post-open Press[edit]

Pizza Brain earned its first foodie award before it opened. The Guinness record and enthusiasm for its grand opening led to partner Dwyer being awarded the title of "Phoodie of the Year" from,[35] closely beating out candidates ?uestlove, Iron Chef America star Michael Solomonov, Philadelphia foodwriter and Green Aisle Grocery owner Adam Erace, and Tom McCusker aka 'Honest Tom' of Honest Tom's Tacos.

Post-opening, under the direction of head chef Joe Hunter, Pizza Brain has established itself as one of Philadelphia's best pizza shops. It has received local, national and international recognition, for its creative pizza pies.

Notable awards, reviews and lists include: 3 "Philadelphia Magazine" "Best of Philly" awards[36] Business Insider's Best Pizza in Every State,[37] Zagat's 10 Killer Slices of Pizza in Philly[38] Nylon Magazine's 15 Best Pizza Slices in America,[39] The Daily Meal's 10 Best Pepperoni Pizzas In America[40] and Food Network's 50 Top Pizza Deliveries from Coast to Coast.[41]

Notable national exposure since opening include: ABC's The Chew, Travel Channel's Food Paradise, The Cooking Channel's Pizza Cuz

Notable international press: Argentina's Resto Del Mundo, Brasil's O Mundo Segundo Los Brasileiros and Uruguay's Plan de Vuelo

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Johanna Hesling (3 Aug 2011). "Pizza Enthusiast Sets New Memorabilia World Record". Guinness World Records. 
  2. ^ Drew Lazor (5 May 2010). "Of Slice and Men: The story behind Philly's first pizza-centric art show.". Philadelphia City Paper. 
  3. ^ Vindu Goel (6 September 2012). "World's First Pizza Museum Opening in Philadelphia". New York Times. 
  4. ^ Nikki Volpicelli (12 September 2012). "Philly's Got Pizza on the Brain". Star News Philly. 
  5. ^ Dan Tallarico (27 February 2012). "Pizza Brain: Interview with Joe Hunter". Pizza Walk With Me. 
  6. ^ Drew Lazor (5 September 2012). "Pizza Brain, set to debut, rethinks the pie". The Philadelphia Inquirer. 
  7. ^ Dan Tallarico (27 February 2012). "Pizza Brain: Interview with Joe Hunter". Pizza Walk With Me. 
  8. ^ Johanna Hessling (14 September 2011). "Pizza enthusiast sets new memorabilia world record". Guinness World Records. 
  9. ^ Drew Lazor (7 Sep 2012). "Pizza Brain, Set To Debut, Rethinks the Pie". Philly Daily News. 
  10. ^ Hawk Krall (3 Aug 2011). "Pizza Brain: World's Largest Collection of Pizza Memorabilia in Philadelphia". Slice. 
  11. ^ Tien Nguyen (9 October 2012). "6 Great Food Museums: Food As Art or Not". LA Weekly. 
  12. ^ Sarah Maiellano (21 July 2015). USA Today  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ Hanna Choi (23 May 2016). Tripping  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ Hawk Krall (February 2012). "Philadelphia: Details on Pizza Brain Museum Opening". Serious Eats. 
  15. ^ Elizabeth Fiedler (20 July 2012). "A Slice of Pizza Heaven Nears Opening Day in Philly". WHYY Newsworks. 
  16. ^ Danya Henninger (Feb 2011). "Pizza Brain Is Coming to Fishtown: Meet Its Pie-Crazy Creator". Zagat blog Philadelphia. 
  17. ^ Joe Satran (Feb 2012). "World's First Pizza Museum, 'Pizza Brain', To Display Brian Dwyer's Record-Setting Collection In Philadelphia". Huffington Post Food. 
  18. ^ A.D. Amorosi (Jul 2012). "Pizza Museum a Testament to American Culture". Philadelphia Inquirer. 
  19. ^ Molly Aronica (May 2012). "World's Most Bizarre Food Museums". Fox News. 
  20. ^ Brian X. McCrone (7 Jul 2011). "Hot Slice of Culture: The Pizza Museum". Metro Philly. 
  21. ^ Rusty Blazenhoff (Jul 2012). "Pizza Brain, The World's First Pizza Museum & Restaurant". Laughing Squid. 
  22. ^ Melissa Pearce (1 Aug 2011). "Exploring the World's Food Museums". Qantas: Spirit of Australia. 
  23. ^ Elizabeth Fiedler (30 July 2012). "New Pizza Museum Offers A Slice Of American Food And Culture". NPR All Things Considered. 
  24. ^ Stacy Shauffer (30 July 2011). "A World Record Worthy Pizza Man". NBC10 Philadelphia. 
  25. ^ Cody Stark (6 Aug 2012). "Pizza Museum". CW31 Good Morning Sacramento. 
  26. ^ Vindu Goel (6 September 2012). "World's First Pizza Museum Opening in Philadelphia". The New York Times. 
  27. ^ Kathy Matheson (18 September 2012). "Pizza Museum Serves Up Memorabilia, Slices". Associated Press. 
  28. ^ Sharyn Jackson (7 September 2012). "Pizza Museum Opens in Philadelphia. Yes, Philadelphia.". Condé Nast. 
  29. ^ Laura Bly (7 September 2012). "Food for Thought: World's First Pizza Museum Opens in Philly". USA Today Travel. 
  30. ^ Terri Pous (7 August 2012). "Slice of History: First Pizza Museum to Open in Philadelphia". Time Newsfeed. 
  31. ^ Lindsey Galloway (4 September 2012). "The World's First Pizza Museum". BBC Travel. 
  32. ^ Helen Ochyra (26 September 2012). "Welcome to The World's First Pizza Museum". The Guardian. 
  33. ^ Michelle Miller (20 September 2012). "World's First Pizza Museum Opens in Philadelphia". CBS This Morning. 
  34. ^ Jeopardy! (26 September 2012). "Jeopardy! Question of the Day". Jeopardy!. 
  35. ^ Joey Sweeney (16 Dec 2011). "Philebrity Awards: Winners and Wrap-up". 
  36. ^ Editors (July 2013). "Best of Philly". Philadelphia Magazine. 
  37. ^ Emmie Martin and Lauren Browning (19 March 2015). "The Best Pizza In Every State". Business Insider. 
  38. ^ Danya Henniger (26 May 2015). "10 Killer Slices of Pizza in Philly". Zagat website. 
  39. ^ Daniel Barna (24 September 2015). "The 15 Best Pizza Slices In America". Nylon Magazine. 
  40. ^ Arthur Bovino (19 September 2016). "The 10 Best Pepperoni Pizzas in America". The Daily Meal. 
  41. ^ Amanda Marsteller (September 2016). "50 Top Delivery Pizzas From Coast to Coast". Food Network website. 

External links[edit]