The History of PizzaPapalis®


Back in the ‘80s, our founder Joe Sheena, took a road trip to Chicago to see the Detroit Lions play and fell in love with Chicago-style Deep Dish pizza.  The rest is history as he wanted to create the best and freshest pizza known worldwide.  So, we traveled worldwide in search of the finest ingredients the globe has to offer as that was the foundation leading to the creation of PizzaPapalis.

We hit the road with our first mission – the perfect crust.  For that, we journeyed to a little flour mill in Kansas.  There, we developed a formula exclusive for PizzaPapalis which gives our pizzas that golden brown color, superior texture, delicious flavor, and the ability to rise evenly in order to sustain our generous toppings.  Our flour uses only the best grains available. It whitens naturally.  There are no chemicals, bleaching agents or bromate.

But, not only does our crust taste good, it’s also good for you.  PizzaPapalis’ special blend of premium wheat has more protein than other flours. Our dough is made fresh each morning and always the same.  This means consistent, mouth watering baking results for you.

That done, we then headed for the land of all things dairy – Wisconsin. Cheese was on our minds as we went straight to the experts – Wisconsin CheeseHeads.  The dairy state has the strictest standards for making cheese. All of PizzaPapalis’ pies are loaded with premium Wisconsin cheese – the best cows have to offer.

Next stop – Italy’s Agro Nocerine Sarnese region.  The warm terrain of the slopes, rich soil, ample rainfall and hot summers make this area a true cradle for PizzaPapalis tomatoes.  These plump, pear-shaped fruits have only two skins, versus a round tomato’s five to seven skins.  This gives our tomatoes a more delicate and less acidic taste.

Following our tomato victory, we remained in Italy and made our way to Naples.  That’s where we found the world’s first true pizzeria, Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba, which opened in 1830 and is still in business.  Fittingly, Naples is where we discovered the PizzaPapalis secret sauce recipe.  This recipe dates back to 1830 and creates a sauce that’s tangy, but doesn’t bite and definitely pleases the palette that we also use in our pasta dishes.

Of course, way before we even made our first pie, we vowed to use only the finest meats and vegetables, cut fresh daily to generously top a wide variety of pizzas.  Finally, after a long and successful journey, we returned to Michigan with the foundation for our soon-to-be pizza creation in hand.  The first PizzaPapalis opened in 1986 in Detroit, and we’ve been going strong ever since.  We now have five locations throughout metro Detroit and Toledo.  

Make sure to indulge in one of our gourmet Chicago-style Deep Dish, Thin Crust or Detroit Style pizzas for that definite “WOW” Factor.  Also make sure to enjoy our famous spinach Special with a three cheese blend, Papalis wings, House dressing and don’t forget to leave room for dessert with a Deep Dish Chocolate Chip cookie and much more!! 

There’s something for everyone, and we want everyone to fully enjoy their PizzaPapalis experience.


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