POWNAL — Locals have been longing to have pizza in Pownal for years, often forced to travel across state lines for a special pie.
Last week, Corner Pizza finally opened, and it’s ovens have been busy ever since.
Residents can find Corner Pizza at 3584 Route 346. It’s open from 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, but the owner, Priscilla Maxon, said, “The hours may change, days may change. We’re just going to figure it out. Depends on staffing.”
Blair Weatherwax is Maxon’s “right-hand girl.” She started working at Corner Pizza about two months ago in preparation for the opening. Before this job, Weatherwax worked at Bianca’s Pizza and Pasta in Hoosick Falls, N.Y., before it closed.
Weatherwax transferred her skills over to Corner Pizza, where she cuts garlic knots out of pizza dough, preps for the dinner rush and bakes the pizza.
“She knows what she's doing,” Maxon said.
The menu meets pizza lovers' expectations. There's various toppings, specialty pizzas and calzones, but Maxon also added “tiny wieners” to the list.
These little hot dogs aren’t made in-house, but Maxon sources the components from popular businesses in New York. The buns come from Bella-Napoli Italian Bakery, and the hot dogs from Old World Provisions, both in Troy, N.Y.
Before purchasing the location for Corner Pizza in November 2019, Maxon was a property manager and co-managed gravel pits. She decided to open a pizza shop after realizing how far Pownalites traveled for their cheesy fix.
“We figured there was a need here. And this was a good spot, busy spot,” she said.
Pandemic affected business plans
Getting the business off the ground during the pandemic was a challenge. She needed two 750-gallon water storage tanks for site permit approval, but the tank delivery was delayed because of COVID-19 issues. It took more than four months to receive them.
Finding an electrician was also a struggle. Most were already committed to projects, and they were booking a year out. Eventually, Maxon found Gary Littlefield out of Bennington.
“He was awesome,” she said
The Department of Health inspection was June 2. The inspector said Corner Pizza could have opened that day, but Maxon wasn’t ready just yet.
After the grand opening, the pizza shop has been graced with a steady stream of customers. Maxon even had to turn several people away who have arrived before operating hours, looking for a slice.