Everybody loves pizza.That’s what Erin and Robert Lockridge thought seven years ago when they originally had the idea for Moriah Pie, a pay-what-you-can pizzeria and pie shop where everything is made from ingredients grown in gardens worked by their own hands.
The Norwood shop is only open for business on Fridays, because it takes two full days of preparation to stock the kitchen with ingredients for the big day. The founders had an urban farming and faith-based background, says Lyric Latchaw, who currently operates the pizzeria with her husband Matt.
The restaurant credits its location to neighboring Vineyard Central church, which drew the founders and a number of their friends to the close-knit neighborhood. Before Moriah Pie was born, the Lockridges began nurturing community-supported agriculture (CSA) in the area and organized charitable food boxes. “They kept finding that the CSA wasn’t really reaching the type of people they were trying to reach,” Lyric says. Erin and Robert decided to go back to the drawing board to think of a new way to serve through their passion for farming.
“They were like, ‘Oh, pizza, everybody loves pizza,’ and they thought that was a great way to engage a lot of different people with their food,” says Lyric, “so they started it, and this fall will be the seventh year of Moriah Pie.” Lyric and her husband Matt took over running it this past year with help from the Lockridges.
Seven gardens and a large orchard—all within a half-mile—fuel the restaurant. The majority of the staff is volunteer-driven, with about 30 rotating volunteers serving customers on Fridays, working in the gardens on Wednesdays, or prepping the ingredients on Thursdays. Even community children can get involved in some way.
Because the business—not backed by grants or investors—seems counter to most, Lyric acknowledges that it’s typically shocking to people. It solely relies on the community to keep it running, and the Latchaws frequently explain to visitors that they don’t serve “free” pizza when they’re describing the model.
Since the food is seasonal, the restaurant closes its doors annually, from December through mid-February, reopening in the spring before the gardens are ready using their own canned and frozen produce. Lyric says that it all lines up every time, somehow.
Hours: Fridays, 4:30–9:30 p.m.
Moriah Pie, 1766 Mills Ave., Norwood