Wellington’s king of pizza: Tommy Millions
New York-inspired pizza by the slice, made Wellington-style and available from three inner-city locations
Tom and his friend ordered a whole pie and watched as it was made. As they sat on the beach to watch the sunset and eat the pizza, Tom was properly hooked. From there on, he couldn’t stop thinking about pizza, seeking out slices and talking to pizza makers as he continued his travels around the States.
Returning home to Wellington and sitting behind the desk of his first corporate role, Tom still couldn’t stop thinking about pizza, so he quit his day job and went to talk to well-known Italian restauranteurs Leonardo and Lorenzo Bresolin. Tom spent some timing working at Scopa, their popular Italian eatery on Cuba Street, to give him an understanding of what it took to make pizza professionally.
On 4 July, 2012, American Independence Day, Tom opened his first Tommy Millions on Courtenay Place in a converted heritage Edwardian building and the former Courtenay Place men’s toilets. Since then he’s opened stores on Featherston Street and at Press Hall on Willis Street, but the ethos has remained the same: large pieces of pizza by the slice to takeaway, affordably priced and using local ingredients.
I had got myself a slice knowing practically nothing about it. Instantly I was transported – it took me straight to the place where I ate my first New York slice
Sam Scott, The Spinoff
Since the beginning, Tom has always tried to use as many local ingredients as possible to make his pizza and he’s proud that all of the cheese they use comes from Massimo’s Italian Cheeses in Auckland – an artisan maker who started his business at the same time as Tommy Millions.
“We try to use New Zealand ingredients to make New York-inspired pizzas. We don’t say New York-style as we’re not in New York – it’s a Wellington take on what you might find on the street in New York.
“Our pizza is democratic and accessible – we don’t want to be too expensive or too fancy, it’s for anybody from kids to grandparents, to tourists and people out partying. Our pizza is something everyone can enjoy and afford.”