Middle Way restauranteur branches into pizza territory

Last Saturday was the grand opening of Hearth Artisan Pizzas, a pizzeria owned by Jon Campabello. Campabello is also the owner of the Middle Way Café, located right next door.

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While pizzerias may seem plentiful in the Anchorage area, Campabello thinks his traditional style pizza will set itself apart.

The bar at Hearth Artisan Pizza in Anchorage (Photo by Wesley Early)
The bar at Hearth Artisan Pizza in Anchorage (Photo by Wesley Early)

Campabello called Hearth, “a traditional style pizza restaurant. Everything is handcrafted, housemade.”

Campabello says during a short visit to Portland, he was inspired by a local pizzeria to establish one of his own back home in Anchorage.

“The feeling of the place was just one of warmth and of a loved neighborhood spot. I just loved how comfortable and warm and light and fresh everything was in that place. And I thought ‘that’s just a wonderful little shop and I would love to do something like that in Anchorage.”

The wood tables and bar at Hearth are made from repurposed Alder wood. Eclectic-style ceramic lamps hang from the ceiling; Campabello says they are locally crafted.

Campabello emphasizes authenticity and local ingredients in his food preparation and presentation.

“We cook our pizzas in a wood oven, and we burn Alder wood that is gathered down in the Kenai Peninsula for us. We have an organic dough and organic tomato sauce. We really pride ourselves on using local, fresh and organic ingredients wherever possible.”

Campabello isn’t the only person excited and optimistic about Hearth.

Laura Moscatello is a frequent customer at Middle Way Café and although she didn’t attend the grand opening, she plans on dining at Hearth very soon.

“When I found out it was pizza, I was kind of surprised because you have a lot of competition here, so it’s interesting to see that it’s pizza, but they have a good product. So I know that they stand by that. I noticed that it opened just this weekend, so I haven’t been there yet, but I’m excited.” she said.

Hearth Artisan Pizza is open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays and Tuesday through Fridays and from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays. The store is closed the next few Mondays for meetings and other business events; however, Campabello hopes to open hours up to include lunch by summertime.

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Wesley Early covers municipal politics and Anchorage life for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org.

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