This past Wednesday a group of students from ISVI were given a very special treat when they were given a tour of Marcos Pizza in Jacksonville. During the visit students were given the opportunity to see the pizza making process used at Marcos up close and personal. The tour was led by the charismatic manager Joe, who made the experience very interesting and kept the students engaged and asking questions which he answered with very precise and professional answers.
Upon arriving, the students were greeted by a very friendly staff who, even during a busy time, made sure to greet customers and students alike. Following the introductions, students were given aprons and rolled up their sleeves for a tour of the kitchen that showed how a pizza at Marcos starts from dough and ends up ready to go. A unique thing about Marcos that the students got to learn, is that they have a water purifier so when they mix the dough, they have the freshest water possible. They were shown how they cut the vegetables by hand every day, using very clean equipment, the crew at Marcos prides themselves on keeping the cleanest work area possible. The students enjoyed that the kitchen was always playing music, when asked Joe said, “we’re always playing music, we like to keep it fun and it definitely helps with morale.”
Being ready for all situations is something Marcos takes very seriously, they have hundreds of boxes stacked to the ceiling, the students loved to see that boxes could be stacked so high. The students were also shown that Marcos sells more than pizza; they offer a wide selection of salads, bone in chicken wings, boneless chicken wings with tons of different flavors and dipping sauces. When it comes to the oven, Marcos is in a different ballpark compared to other pizza restaurants. They have an energy efficient oven that uses an infrared beam that tells the machine when the pizza is ready and shuts off, as opposed to running through the entire day.
At the end of the day, after being shown how pizza is made from start to finish when it is on your plate, the students were given pizza and a surprise; they were given gift baskets with candy and popcorn supplied by Family Video, whose employees were also in attendance, and an honorary junior chef certificate. The students, and all those who attended, had a wonderful time. There was a lot of smiling, laughing, and of course pizza. One of the chaperones expressed that he loved seeing that it gave the students not only confidence, but the courage to try something new, considering some may have thought there was no way that they could make pizza and he loved to see that for the kids that he cares so dearly for.