A new pizzeria located at 100 N. Ninth St. in Richmond is gaining popularity since officially opening April 29. Suzie’s Pizza, along with two arcade businesses located in the same building, are bringing customers in for food and fun.
“It seemed like a no-brainer to me. I love pizza and video games, and it’s a real part of me, so I was so excited to partner with the arcade,” said Troy Conner.
Troy and his wife Suzie own Suzie’s Pizza, and Troy also owns one of the arcades, Blast from the Past.
A friend of the couple owns a third business there, Retro Rush Arcade, and they all work together to run the businesses.
“I had an opportunity with one of our friends to start this arcade. It was a great way to combine things that I love, and once we got that established, it really seemed perfect to pursue the pizza business because it goes really well with the audience of the arcade,” Troy said.
While Conner does help keep the gaming side of things going, the pizza business is their main focus.
“Pizza has always been something that we wanted to do for several years. [Suzie’s] folks are from New Jersey, and when we met nine years ago, she took me to that area for the first time. I really fell in love with the pizza while I was there,” Troy said.
Suzie Conner, 29, says that the business makes her feel closer to her native home.
“It’s something back home that I really miss. [Troy] had the idea of making pizzas out here in Richmond, and I’ve spent a lot of time perfecting our recipe, and we want to get all the ingredients right,” Suzie said.
Along with pizza, Suzie’s serves stromboli, calzones and knots. They pride themselves on their dedication and care they take while making the pizza.
“A big thing for me is that Suzie and I are the only ones that make the pizza in our business, and this is so we can ensure it’s up to the quality we have envisioned. We want to represent our brand in the best way possible. We make our own dough fresh every morning, and same with the sauce,” Troy said.
While Richmond has many pizza options, as a small pizza business Suzie’s offers some advantages. “We have a commitment to our customers to have everything fresh. Nothing is ever frozen and reheated … I think that’s how we really stand out from bigger chains,” Troy said.
The Conners say the business has received a lot of support. “The community recognizes that as a small business we need to support, that operating the business is a lot of work,” Troy said. “We rarely get criticism, and when it happens it always comes from a place of people wanting our business to succeed, and people are always willing to help.”
The couple is already thinking about plans for growth, and possibly moving to another space that can accommodate more visitors.
“We never planned to stay down here forever so, this is a stepping stone, kind of starter, just to get this pizza out there, and to see how people liked it,” Suzie said. “We didn’t want to start something huge and then have people not enjoy it. We expected a year or two down here, and from the grand opening till now we have seen steady and consistent growth.”
Lizzy Graham recently completed a summer internship with the Western Wayne News and will be a senior at Richmond High School.
A version of this article appeared in the August 2 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.