An NFL football giant is making a name for himself in the pizza business.
Billy Bajema, who played from 2005 to 2013 for teams like the San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Rams and the Baltimore Ravens, is about to open Pie Five Pizza on Yukon Parkway.
Opening day is set for Dec. 2 for the fast, casual pizza restaurant that offers hand-crafted personal pizzas “any way you want them in less than five minutes,” Bajema said.
Hungry pizza-goers will be able to choose from four types of crust, seven sauces and more than 30 toppings for their pizza.
Bajema said the first time he tried the pizza, down in Denton, Texas, he was very impressed.
“I couldn’t believe how good it was,” he said. “That’s what attracted me to this franchise and I was really shocked because the pizza is only in the oven for just two minutes.”
For fresh made from scratch pizza, Bajema said it’s a deal hard to beat.
“Or maybe I was impressed with my pizza-making skills,” he chuckled.
Bajema and his partner/brother-in-law, Tyce Jones, opened their first Pie Five Pizza in Stillwater less than two years ago and their second in Moore. When their Yukon location opens next month, Bajema said it will be first in the nation with a drive-through.
A Yukon location was attractive to Bajema because he sees it as a potentially good market. The close proximity to the high school and the open campus is a plus too.
“We will have student special to try and cater to the kids,” Bajema said.
Personal pizzas are one price, no matter what you point on it, costing $7.49, and will have a bundle option to come with either a dessert or salad and a drink.
When it opens, Pie Five Pizza will be the first business in the plaza. Bajema called the space beautiful and said he is excited about occupying the end space of the suite complete with a first-class outdoor patio and fire pit.
“The people that owned this are pretty selective and they see if full of some special things throughout the builing,” Bajema said. “I am excited for the vision for the entire building and we are the first step to a really cool retail space.”
The owner said since being in Yukon, speaking of the build-out process, he has enjoyed getting to know people in town. “It’s been a fun process and I’m really looking forward to getting involved with the kids in the high school and in the town.”
“Yukon has a small town feel – but becoming a big city – but it still has the feel of a small town.”
Pie Five Pizza will employ initially around 40 people but will eventually settle in with 25 to 30 employees, Bajema said. The eatery will have its soft opening Nov. 29-30 and a grand opening on Dec. 6.
Even though Bajema has a 2012 Super Bowl ring on his finger from playing with the Ravens, he hopes to have another form of personal success in the pizza business right here close to home.
“If we provide a great product – which we plan on doing – we hope the community will embrace us,” Bajema said.
Bajema and Jones have the franchise rights to the entire Oklahoma City area.
He and his wife have four kids and reside in Edmond. He is a graduate of Westmoore High School and Oklahoma State University. He was drafted into the NFL in 2005 in the seventh round. Bajema also was a baseball standout and currently coaches football at John Marshall High School in Oklahoma City.
To find out more about Pie Five Pizza, visit www.piefivepizza.com.